Can the Utes build on the win?

Admit it, you didn't see this one coming. Sure, any Ute fan could see that the basketball team was due for a breakout win, but no one thought it was coming against Air Force. Sure enough, that is exactly what happened.

We all knew the Utes were due. We could all see that they would get a big win sooner or later, but Air Force? The 17th ranked Falcons? No way!


It wasn't impossible, but it was improbable. Afterall, the Utes were stuck in a six-game quagmire, while the Falcons were riding a 13-game win streak.

Both of those ended Tuesday night in Salt Lake City.

After weeks of heartbreak and tough losses, the Utes finally got over and in doing so, became the first Mountain West team, and only the second team overall to down the Falcons.

Utah and Duke. Didn't think we'd see those two basketball programs having much in common this season.

It wasn't easy. The Utes had to shoot 70.7% from the field to win.

You read that right, 70.7%.

The Utes overcame 13 first half turnovers by hitting 5-of-8 from behind the arc.

They tightened up in the second half and lost the ball just six times, but still hit 4-8 from three-point range.

How good were they? The Utes were 20-25 from inside the arc. The formerly hardluck Utes were now getting all the rolls.

Best of all the Utes played as a team. They had 21 assists, with seven players racking up at least two dimes. In a game without many misses, it was Utah who controlled the boards by ten. In fact Luke Nevill had just four less rebounds than the entire Air Force team.

It was a win that Utah basketball fans can be proud of. It is a win to relish.

Now the team must forget it.

Utah cannot rest on one huge win. They are still three games behind the Falcons in the standings. If they are to turn around this season they need to use it as a starting point, not the highlight.

The Utes are better than their 6-12 record, now they have to prove it. Air Force becomes a marquee win, but if this season is to get better it cannot be the only one.

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