Utah Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Utah Utes
Pac-12 (24-8, 13-5)


Utah was considered a favorite to finish at the top of the Pac-12 before the season began.  At season’s end they lived up to the hype.  They cruised through the Pac-12 schedule, and never had any “bad” losses.  They are a defensive-minded team with the ability to make people pay on the offensive end.  They have the look of a Sweet 16 team.  

Big Wins: 12/3 Wichita State (69-68), 12/10 at BYU (65-61), 1/4 UCLA (71-39)
Bad Losses: 1/29 at UCLA (59-69), 2/22 at Oregon (58-69), 3/7 at Washington (68-77)
Coach: Larry Krystowiak

Why They Can Surprise:
Any team with defense as the cornerstone always has a shot to advance, especially in the first two rounds.  They are a top-10 points against team.  What contrasts them from a team like Virginia is that they can bury you with their shooting as well.  They shoot nearly 50% from the field as a team.  Scoring 72 points per game gives you a chance to win every time out.  The strong defense-offense combo allows them to separate from their opponents by game’s end.  They beat teams by about 16 points per game.  They can hit from 2-point or 3-point range to keep the pressure on.  Delon Wright is their leader, taking care of everything from points to assists to steals.  He sets the tone for the Utes defensively.  This is Coach Larry Krytkowiak’s best team since he has been in Salt Lake City and hey can make a run.

Why They Can Disappoint:
There are two things that stand out as reasons why the Utes might get bounced earlier than they would like:  experience and competition.  The Pac-12 is down this season in terms of depth.  No one even came close to competing with Utah and Arizona for the top of the conference.  The Utes played a decent out of conference schedule with mixed results.  But is their recent success in conference play sustainable as the competition gets better throughout the NCAA tournament?  Utah has not been to the NCAAs since 2009.  None of these players, or the coach, knows what to expect.  That does not preclude them from winning.  It does raise questions about how well they will play though and handling their newfound success will be key.

Probable Starters:
Delon Wright, Senior, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.9 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.0 bpg
Brandon Taylor, Junior, Guard, 10.7 ppg, 3.3 apg
Jordan Loveridge, Junior, Forward, 10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg
Jakob Poetl, Freshman, Forward, 8.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Chris Reyes, Junior, Center, 4.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Brekkott Chapman, Freshman, Forward, 6.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Dakarai Tucker, Junior, Guard-Forward, 7.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.1 (65th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.6 (10, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.6 (9, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.0 (7, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (60, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.8 (14, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.9 (139, 5)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (43, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (62, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (63, 4)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NIT    First Round loss to St. Mary's
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Arizona   
2008    CBI    First Round win over UTE
2008    CBI    Second Round loss to Tulsa
2005    NCAA    Round of 64 win over UTEP
2005    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Oklahoma
2005    NCAA    Regional semifinal loss to Kentucky
2004    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Boston College
2003    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Oregon
2003    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Kentucky

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules