Utah is moving on. A strong second half and some clutch shooting out of Brandon Taylor again has the Utes advancing to the Sweet 16 in Houston with a 75-64 win over Georgetown. Again, it wasn't the prettiest of sights, but it sure was fun to watch as the Utes moved on to the second weekend for the first time in a decade.
What We Liked
-Poeltl. Despite battling the foul trouble we expected going against a guy like Joshua Smith, the freshman went for 12 points on the offensive end. Didn't have the defensive impact you'd hope (and no rebounds), but was a monster again in the paint on offense in only 18 minutes.
-Wright Running The Show. The box score doesn't always tell the story. The numbers were decent, but the way he ran the show, with the pass that led to the pass that turned into a basket, was more than impressive. Controlled the flow of the game in the second half.
-Clutch Taylor. He's the new Mr. Big Shot. The little guy came up big with 14 points with timely 3s, including a dagger with 2:47 to go that absolutely crushed the Hoyas.
DBach Power. After sitting out the first game of the tournament, Dallin Bachynski returned with authority posting 9 points and 8 rebounds. He looked like Hakeem Olajuwon on one play taking his defender baseline and finishing strong inside with some pizzazz.
Loveridge Is Efficient. 10 points on only 4 field goal attempts will get it done. The junior had a giant 3 to break a long dry-spell for the Utes and turn the tide in the second half.
What We Didn't Like
-Early D from 3. The Hoyas aren't a very good shooting team from behind the arc, so daring them to beat you from 3 isn't a bad plan. That said, Utah's perimeter defense in the first ten minutes was atrocious and the reason for the early double-digit deficit.
-Defensive Rebounding. 10 offensive boards for the Hoyas is a bit steep.
A Sweet 16 matchup with either Duke or San Diego State on Friday night in Houston. The Utes lost to SDSU earlier in the year in a defensive slugfest, while Duke is the #1 seed in the region and arguably the second most talented team in the dance. Either way, it's going to be a battle, but Larry will have the boys ready.
On To The Sweet 16
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