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Two Utes
03-15-2016, 11:14 AM
I've watched them up close and personal twice in the last three weeks. Utah got jobbed by the committee. Fresno is not playing like a 14 seed. More like an 11 seed. You get a 3 seed and you should expect to play a Weber State or Cal State Bakersfield--not the MWC tournament champion on a ten game win streak.

They have won ten straight after losing one of their best players--Torren Jones for some undisclosed reason. Addition by subtraction I guess.

They've won games because they finish games well. They have three senior guards on their team who make plays down the stretch. Marvelle Harrison is their leader. A big, strong 6'4" senior guard. He is a huge matchup problem for Utah because Brandon's not big enough to guard him and Bonham isn't a good enough defender. But, Utah has an even bigger matchup advantage (no surprise) with Jakob. Fresno has no one who can guard him. If he stays out of foul trouble, Utes should win. If he gets in foul trouble, Fresno matches up extremely well with every other big on Utah's team. Fresno's bigs (Edo, Carter and Cullen) are adequate, but this teams revolves around its guard play.

Utah State went down to the wire with them in Fresno and had a chance to tie the game under a minute but couldn't finish (and by the way Fresno is not as bad a place as I thought it would be). Fresno did finish. In Logan, Utah State raced out to an 18 point lead but squandered it in the second half by allowing Marvelle to take over the game in transition and on the perimeter (inexplicable player rotation by Utah State didn't help, but that's a topic left for another day).

Fresno also picked up an old codgy fired coach from back east (can't remember his name) who is now the assistant head coach. The x's and o's have been a lot better this year as a result.

I expect Utah to win so long as Jakob has his normal output. But again, don't underestimate this team. They have great senior guard play and guard play is everything in the big dance.

DrumNFeather
03-15-2016, 12:03 PM
From the "Not totally Crazy" section of ESPN's Giant Killer Index:

No. 3 Utah (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/team/_/id/254/utah-utes) (72.8) versus No. 14 Fresno State (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/team/_/id/278/fresno-state-bulldogs) (8.4)

Upset chance: 15.9 percent

In the four most similar GK matchups since 2007, the Giants went 3-1, outscoring the Killers by an average of 8.6 points per 100 possessions.

Utah isn't as good as the selection committee thought; it ranks 30th in our basic power ratings, below Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, Connecticut and various other teams that didn't deserve a 3-seed, either. The Utes like to control the tempo, and don't gamble for turnovers or crash the offensive boards. But they're prone to turnovers of their own, which has left them vulnerable to opponents who also like to keep things slow but know how to force steals, like Miami, Wichita State and, most hideously, Oregon.0

Meanwhile, Fresno State is better than you might think for a team that hardly anybody was watching before the Bulldogs stole an automatic bid from San Diego State. And here's a key fact: They force turnovers on 20.8 percent of opponents' possessions (ranking 37th; keep an eye on big man Cullen Russo (http://sports.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/player/_/id/3917351/cullen-russo), who spends most of his minutes at center but somehow nabs steals on 3.6 percent of opponent possessions). Make no mistake: led by the phenomenal Jakob Poeltl (http://sports.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/player/_/id/3134908/jakob-poeltl) (65 percent effective field-goal percentage), Utah can shoot the lights out, and deserves to be heavily favored. But the template does exist for an upset: in a matchup last year between teams very similar to Utah and Fresno State, Iowa State found itself clipped by 14-seed UAB, 60-59.

Utah
03-15-2016, 12:25 PM
We will kill them. It won't be close. They have no answer for Poeltl and Kuzma. Ask Cal how that went for them. And they don't have the offensive firepower that Cal has.

This game is over before it begins.

The real question is this:

Can Seton Hall lose to Gonzaga, so you guys can stress over Gonzaga before we destroy them on our way to the sweet sixteen?

Dwight Schr-Ute
03-15-2016, 12:48 PM
We will kill them. It won't be close. They have no answer for Poeltl and Kuzma. Ask Cal how that went for them. And they don't have the offensive firepower that Cal has.

This game is over before it begins.

The real question is this:

Can Seton Hall lose to Gonzaga, so you guys can stress over Gonzaga before we destroy them on our way to the sweet sixteen?

This is the kind of objectivity I rely on when filling out my brackets. Thanks!

NorthwestUteFan
03-15-2016, 01:02 PM
A 15.9% chance of an upset means an 84.1% chance of not having an upset. I like those odds.

DrumNFeather
03-15-2016, 01:20 PM
We will kill them. It won't be close. They have no answer for Poeltl and Kuzma. Ask Cal how that went for them. And they don't have the offensive firepower that Cal has.

This game is over before it begins.

The real question is this:

Can Seton Hall lose to Gonzaga, so you guys can stress over Gonzaga before we destroy them on our way to the sweet sixteen?


A 15.9% chance of an upset means an 84.1% chance of not having an upset. I like those odds.

Hey listen you two...I'm only providing information here, not making a prediction! :)

Speaking of Predictions I made: "If Gonzaga gets the autobid, they will be a really annoying 11 or 12 seed. "

Utah
03-15-2016, 01:41 PM
Hey listen you two...I'm only providing information here, not making a prediction! :)

Speaking of Predictions I made: "If Gonzaga gets the autobid, they will be a really annoying 11 or 12 seed. "

Ha ha.

ESPN's problem with Utah is our bad losses. And they were bad. They heavily penalize Utah because of that.

The problem with those loses is that we didn't lose because we are bad. We are a top 10 team if you look at what happened in those losses.

For example, if we hit a FT and don't foul someone shooting a last second three, how does that affect our rating in ESPN? We jump and we jump big time. All of the sudden we are PAC-12 regular season champs.

Numbers are really, really important but they are just a piece of the puzzle. If you focus too much on one piece, you miss the bigger picture.

Kind of like how everyone was worried about us playing Michigan the last two years. Yeah, their recruiting is better, but it's one piece of the puzzle. When you look at all the other pieces, you should expect Utah to beat Michigan and solidly. Which Utah did.

ESPN's numbers are informative, but wrong in Utah's case.

Utah
03-15-2016, 01:42 PM
p.s. I know I come off as a jerk a lot. I don't mean to. I swear, I'm a nice guy.

DrumNFeather
03-15-2016, 01:43 PM
Ha ha.

ESPN's problem with Utah is our bad losses. And they were bad. They heavily penalize Utah because of that.

The problem with those loses is that we didn't lose because we are bad. We are a top 10 team if you look at what happened in those losses.

For example, if we hit a FT and don't foul someone shooting a last second three, how does that affect our rating in ESPN? We jump and we jump big time. All of the sudden we are PAC-12 regular season champs.

Numbers are really, really important but they are just a piece of the puzzle. If you focus too much on one piece, you miss the bigger picture.

Kind of like how everyone was worried about us playing Michigan the last two years. Yeah, their recruiting is better, but it's one piece of the puzzle. When you look at all the other pieces, you should expect Utah to beat Michigan and solidly. Which Utah did.

ESPN's numbers are informative, but wrong in Utah's case.

Most people seem to look at Utah on paper and say..."yeah, not so good" but the eye test tells them that Jakob can carry us a long ways...and if Taylor and Loveridge are hitting and Kuz and Bonam are aggressive, we're a tough out for anyone.

SeattleUte
03-15-2016, 01:58 PM
p.s. I know I come off as a jerk a lot. I don't mean to. I swear, I'm a nice guy.

No worries. Not everyone can be a nice guy. That's not the way it's supposed to work. Maybe that's not your role.

Rocker Ute
03-15-2016, 02:10 PM
That's easy for a nice guy like you to say.


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Utah
03-15-2016, 04:01 PM
Most people seem to look at Utah on paper and say..."yeah, not so good" but the eye test tells them that Jakob can carry us a long ways...and if Taylor and Loveridge are hitting and Kuz and Bonam are aggressive, we're a tough out for anyone.

IF Taylor and Loveridge and Bonham can shoot 40% from three...there aren't too many teams that can beat us. Poeltl is just too good and our defense is too good.

Utah
03-15-2016, 04:02 PM
That's easy for a nice guy like you to say.


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Awwwww. Thanks.

Rocker Ute
03-15-2016, 04:47 PM
Awwwww. Thanks.

I was speaking to Seattle Ute, but you are a nice guy too.

LA Ute
03-15-2016, 06:40 PM
No worries. Not everyone can be a nice guy. That's not the way it's supposed to work. Maybe that's not your role.

Not everyone's religion is kindness. Some people just don't hear the music, it seems.

Utah
03-15-2016, 07:26 PM
I was speaking to Seattle Ute, but you are a nice guy too.

Lol