Somedays just aren't yours, and Saturday night wasn't Utah's as they were dismantled in pretty much every single way by a Gonzaga team that played at a very high level. We could sit here and rehash the loss, but with the season now over, that doesn't get us anywhere. It was apparent early in the second half that the Runnin Utes hit a wall late in the season, and it happened at a terrible time with their final 3 games producing lackluster performances. Complete and total destructions via Oregon and Gonzaga, with a below average game against Fresno State mixed in, and it's safe to say that Utah just ran out of gas down the stretch.
This was a good team, and one that exceeded the expectations of most from when the season started. They overcame a 1-3 stretch to start conference play, finished as runner up in the regular season and conference tournament, produced the conference player of the year, had a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and won 27 games. There are well over 300 teams in college basketball that would trade their season for Utah's in a second. It ended with a thud, but as a whole, the 2015-16 season was a success, and another step in the right direction for a program that has risen from the dead under Larry Krystkowiak.
For now, we say goodbye to Brandon Taylor, Jordan Loveridge, and Dakari Tucker, seniors instrumental in turing the program around and making them a national power again. We likely say goodbye to Jakob Poeltl as well, with his next step in life being a lottery pick with NBA star written all over him. It's time for a new chapter in Utah basketball where Larry and company will reset, retool, and put in place a plan to get this program to the next level. With the way he's recruited and developed over the last few years, there's no reason to think that won't take more than a year or two. While it's hard for a season to end in such disappointing fashion, the future is bright, and Utah basketball continues to trend up.