Runnin’ Utes Close Out Regular Season with Two-Game Homestand

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U of U freshman guard, Ian Martinez (#2), during the game vs. the USC Trojans on Feb. 27th, 2021 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on campus. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Assistant Sports Editor

 

The University of Utah men’s basketball team will look to capitalize on a huge win as they head into the final week of their regular season. There are two more games scheduled before the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, and Utah surely wants to build up some momentum before heading there. 

Utah just grabbed their signature victory of the season with a win over USC on Saturday. The Trojans were ranked as the No. 19 team in the country before the game, but Utah came out with focus and intensity to upset them in Salt Lake. This team is capable of winning games, and if they get hot at the right time a run in the Pac-12 Tournament could be in the cards. These final two games will be key for the Utes, as confidence and momentum is very important for this team, as we’ve seen all season.

Up first is a rematch with the Oregon State Beavers on Wednesday, March 3. Oregon State got the better of Utah when they played on Feb. 18, the final score being 56-74. The Beavers are 13-11, 9-9 in the Pac-12. This team is beatable and the Utes will attempt to even the score at home in Salt Lake. OSU has won two in a row, road victories over Cal and Stanford. This game could loom large for seeding in the Pac-12 Tournament, with both squads hanging out in the middle of the pack and Utah still having a chance to leapfrog the Beavers.

From there, the Utes will match up with Arizona State for the first time this year. There have been multiple games scheduled between these two teams this season, only to get postponed each time. This will be the only meeting this year, barring a matchup in the Pac-12 Tournament. ASU is 10-11, 7-8 in the Pac-12, setting this one up as another big game for seeding purposes. The Sun Devils have won three straight; two over Washington and one over Washington State, all at home. They will play Colorado on the road before heading to Utah this weekend. They have four players averaging double-digit points. A few of their players are also top NBA Draft prospects in Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley, the younger brother of Sacramento Kings big man Marvin Bagley. Senior guard Remy Martin averages 21.3 points a night. Limiting these stars will be key to a Utah victory on senior night. 

It’s been a long season full of ups and downs for Utah basketball. Right now, they’re on one of those upswings. They’ll be able to close this season out on a high note, with multiple home games giving them a chance to put a winning streak together. Regardless of what the final record is, it’s been encouraging to see progress from a lot of their young players, as well as the upperclassmen showing off their skills.

The game against Oregon State will be on Wednesday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on ESPNU. The game against Arizona State will be at noon on Saturday, March 6, and will be broadcast on FS1. Both will be played at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

 

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