Utah Utes guard Gabe Madsen (55) talks with teammate Luka Tarlac (21) as they walk off the floor after Utah lost to Stanford in Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Stanford won 73-62.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

LAS VEGAS — The University of Utah’s men’s basketball season almost certainly came to an end Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena — barring a miracle invitation to play in the NIT — but in reality the Utes’ season hit the wall about a month ago.

The 73-62 loss to much-improved Stanford in a Pac-12 tournament first-round game was just the latest blow to a team that limped to the finish line, hampered by too many injuries, too few offensive weapons and a general lack of confidence when the schedule turned ultra-difficult.

“Yeah, they just got to all the 50-50 balls. Like the past few games, we let them get going early, and then from that we were just playing catchup the whole rest of the night.” — Marco Anthony.

“It was a tough night for us,” concluded coach Craig Smith.

And a tough ending to a Pac-12 season that started with so much promise, including an upset of then-No. 4 Arizona. But the Utes (17-15) are a far cry from that squad, even if they were finally at full strength after injuries slowed their starting backcourt the last five weeks.

As 1.5-point favorites, the Utes led for only 43 seconds early in the contest, fell behind by seven at halftime and never really threatened in the second half in falling in a first-round game for the second-straight year.

“Yeah, they just got to all the 50-50 balls,” said Utah fifth-year Marco Anthony, who quite likely played his final game as …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Utah basketball: Utes’ offensive shortcomings catch up to them again

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