Basketball: Dr. Krystkowiak appears for the Utes

By Griffin Adams and Griffin Adams

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It wasn’t the typical Larry Krystkowiak press conference.

The still-No. 13 Runnin’ Utes just dropped the biggest game of the season in dramatic fashion, and some would have expected a more stern, focused head coach like was evident after the Oregon loss.

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Instead, Krystkowiak came out with a poem in hand and read the following:

“Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball

will make you the winning-est winner of all.

Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,

with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.”

The message was simple – Utah is just fine. Yes, the Utes are aware that they just dropped the most anticipated game of the year, but with match-ups against the Washington schools looming, Krystkowiak sees no time to waste.

“It probably affected some people more than us. I know it meant a lot to folks in the community, our fans and us,” he said. “Now, we can get ready for the Washington trip.”

Preparing for the madness

Every year, college basketball fans across America get caught up in the madness of March by analyzing what teams will end up in what region, what match-ups will be played and who will make it through. And despite Utah not making the NCAA tournament since 2008-09, Krystkowiak doesn’t believe in imagining who they “might” face come tournament time.

Instead, Krystkowiak focuses on the task at hand.

“It is a life lesson – control what you can control and right now that’s preparing for Washington State,” he said.

However, there’s another tournament that the Utes have had their eyes set on all season – the Pac-12 tournament. Utah doesn’t have much to worry about when it comes to making the NCAA tournament, sitting at No. 13 in the AP polls, but Oregon is making a late-season surge to move up to the No. 2 spot in the Pac-12, but Krystkowiak doesn’t think that’s worth stressing over.

“There’s no pressure, none at all, we haven’t been trying to finish second. We want to play all 18 games and then they’ll tell us who we are playing in Vegas,” Krystkowiak said. “The surefire way to get to the [NCAA] tournament is win in Vegas.”

Reviving the Huntsman

This home season was special one for the Runnin’ Utes and the Utah faithful. Not only is the team registering its best record in recent memory, but Utah has provided a number of entertaining games throughout the campaign, especially in the Huntsman Center.

Against Arizona game on Saturday, the atmosphere was the best its been all year, but that was to be expected. It started when the Utes upset Wichita State in overtime at home. Then, fans starting to show up for Sunday afternoon games. After that, it was weekday night games.

Case in point, there were signs of life in the Huntsman all season long, which ultimately cultivated in the scene on Saturday night. Utah fans wondered when the days of old would come back to the JHC, and under Krystkowiak, the current Utes have brought them back, and then some.

“My kids always love telling me about how the crowds are really amazing,” Krystkowiak said. “I sat in there this morning in the dark and now that the season is over, I think we made huge strides with bringing back some of the excitement to Utah.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]