After another loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, the Runnin' Utes drop to No. 19 in the latest AP Poll. The Ducks are the first team unranked, which is odd, given they finished tied with Utah for second place and beat the Utes each of the two times they faced them.
Utah (24-8, 13-5) faces Stephen F. Austin (29-4, 17-1) out of the Southland Conference. SFA is led by SLC Player of the Year Thomas Walkup, who averages 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Walkup also earned a spot as a first team All-SLC selection and was selected to the SLC's All-Defensive team for the second year in a row. Additionally, senior Jacob Parker (14.1 points, 5.5 rebounds per game) was named a second team All-SLC selection.
SFA is coached by two-time SLC Coach of the Year Brad Underwood. Underwood guided SFA a record of 29-4 and 17-1 in Southland Conference play, capturing their third-straight regular season conference crown. The Jacks finished the season with a RPI of 36 and rank eighth nationally in offensive points per possession.
Utah, on the other hand, is 4-4 in its last eight games, including three losses to the top teams in the Pac-12, Arizona (1) and Oregon (2), as well as an inexplicable loss to Washington in Seattle. Utah's three-point shooting has been less efficient on the road, and the Utes bigs have a tendency to disappear at times. The only game-to-game reliable threat is All Pac-12 first teamer and All American guard Delon Wright, averaging 16.1 points per game in the last eight.