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Can Utah play its way out of an NCAA Tournament bid?

Unlikely. Extremely unlikely, actually. Especially when you realize their RPI is still a top-ten. However, when it comes to the selection committee, anything is possible and I guess if there is a chance, however slim, we should focus on that possibility. 

Firstly, the only way Utah could have a shot of missing the NCAA Tournament is if they lose to TCU Saturday. That isn't happening. I do not believe the Utes will lose on senior night with a conference championship on the line. Remember, a victory there and they share the title and a shared title still counts the same as an outright one, except you're not guaranteed a number one seed once the conference tournament rolls around. 

But let's say they lose. Let's say something monumental happens Saturday and Utah collapses against the Frogs, ending the season 20-10. No conference championship, a three game losing streak and a probable tie for 3rd place in the conference with the Aztecs. 

That puts Utah in a tough position entering the conference tournament. If they were to lose their opening round game against TBD, what does that mean for their tournament hopes? Are they dashed with a 20-11 finish and a 4 game losing streak to end the season? If you're going by just RPI, no they're not. But RPI alone doesn't decide tournament selection and limping into the end of the season like that could seriously damage those hopes. 

All of that seems pretty unlikely, of course because, as I mentioned, Utah isn't losing to TCU. 

Which makes that game Saturday huge. If they win, they should be a lock for the tournament, regardless of what happens in the Mountain West tournament. They lose and things become pretty interesting down the stretch. That can't happen. Utah can't allow TCU to surprise them, regardless of how disappointed they are after this poor two game road trip.