It was a good gameplan by the Utes, but they fell a short Thursday night against Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament. Ultimately, it was a run by the Ducks in the 2nd half that erased an 11 point Utah lead that did Utah in, and they couldn’t counter to advance. It wasn’t the best officiated game, for either team, a lot of touch fouls were called on both sides, which helped lead to David Collette and Tyler Rawson fouling out of the game. Collette was a warrior coming back from a rolled ankle scoring 16 points and was a force on the defensive side of the ball too. It was actually as active as I’ve seen him in a while, with his diving to the basket and attacking.
Justin Bibbins has great too, with 20 points, including 10 from the free throw line. Oregon was determined to slow Bibbins down all game long, but he just continued to torch them. I don’t know the last time a guy of Bibbins’ stature put as much fear into the heart of an opposing team as he does. Bibbins may have had a chance to win the game at the end, but Barefield didn’t see him in the corner on his layup attempt. Utah did handle Oregon’s press well all game long, but the thing with that press is that it eats about 10 seconds off the clock, so Utah had less time to really run their offense, and I think they plays a bit of a roll in keeping a team off balance on offense.
Now Utah will sit and wait to learn their fate, which will likely be an NIT invite, but we’ll know more on Sunday afternoon.