The Chronicle’s View: Congratulations Utah basketball!

U ncontested MountainWestern Conferencechampions. Not tooshabby.And it couldn’t have comein a better way-an excitinghome game with a packed houseagainst our rivals. The MUSSwas electric, and the rest ofthe crowd went crazy after anonslaught of slam-dunks near theend of the game. It was enoughto make any U fan proud.All in all, it’s been an unforgettableyear for Utah sports.We all know how fun it is tofollow up a winning footballseason with an exceptional basketballseason, but we should becareful not to look at the basketballteam’s accomplishments astertiary to what the football teamdid.The basketball programdeserves its own spotlight andaccolades for an incredible season.Admittedly, Urban Meyer’sskyrocketing career made forfantastic entertainment, but RayGiacoletti’s turning out a prettyentertaining product, too.In many ways, Giacoletti’sseason has been even moreamazing than Urban’s. Meyer lefta winning tradition at BowlingGreen to replace a mediocrecoach here.Giacoletti left a no-nameschool (Eastern Washington University)with a mediocre recordto replace a college basketballlegend here. He then achieved analmost perfect winning record.The Utes’ one conference loss toNew Mexico hardly even affectedthe team’s national ranking.It’s pretty impressive whenyou consider that Rick Majerushadn’t won a conference titlesince 2001. What a fantasticaccomplishment for a first-yearcoach. He wasn’t riding on Majerus’coattails, either. It was Giacolettiwho kept Andrew Boguthere and revived Marc Jackson’scareer.Let’s remember not to take itfor granted-without Giaco atthe helm, things might have beena lot different this season.