After sweeping the Washington school from Salt Lake City, the Runnin' Utes climbed one in the AP Poll to No. 11. Clearly, national pollsters are taking note of Utah's over 24-point margin in their six Pac-12 wins this season. Utah has been ranked as high as No. 8 this season and are currently poised just outside the Top 10.
Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak's squad will get a chance at another couple of statement wins in Los Angeles this week, starting in Pauley Pavilion on the campus of storied UCLA. The Bruins are struggling right now, and local fans are beginning the "fire Alford" grumbling, even while the coach's contract might prohibit pulling such a quick trigger. But UCLA is still one of the prominent name programs on the West Coast, and a win in the house that Wooden built will add that much more cachet to the Utes season. It could also add a rung or two on the AP ladder.
By all accounts, bracketology experts have Utah firmly in line for a top four seed in the NCAA Tournament. ESPN.com bracketology guru Joe Lundardi has Utah at a three seed in the South region, currently slotted to face 14-seed New Mexico State. If Lunardi's projects played out, the Runnin' Utes would face 2-seed Wisconsin in the regional semifinals or 1-seed Duke in the finals. CBSSports.com expert Jerry Palm has Utah as a three-seed in the Midwest, facing 14-seed Kent State, and then facing 2-seed Wisconsin in the semis and... don't look now, Utes fans... 1-seed Kentucky in the finals.
AP Top 25
|1||Kentucky Wildcats (64)||19-0||1,624|
|2||Virginia Cavaliers (1)||19-0||1,561|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||17-2||1,402|
|8||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||19-2||1,139|
|12||Wichita State Shockers||18-2||893|
|13||North Carolina Tar Heels||16-4||878|
|14||Virginia Commonwealth Rams||16-3||734|
|15||Iowa State Cyclones||14-4||719|
|17||West Virginia Mountaineers||16-3||558|
|18||Northern Iowa Panthers||18-2||440|
|Others receiving votes: Colorado St 57, Arkansas 54, Ohio State 43, SMU 43, Providence 29, Dayton 28, Georgia 28, Stanford 16, Wyoming 14, Seton Hall 10, LSU 10, San Diego St 4, Tulsa 2, Texas A&M 2, Davidson 1, Saint Mary's 1, Stephen F. Austin 1, Green Bay 1|