While the Utah Utes trailed No. 4 Arizona 34-13 at halftime and stars Delon Wright and Jordan Loveridge couldn’t buy a bucket at the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament quarterfinals, a familiar refrain of “U Of A” echoed through the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for everyone to hear.
It was sweet music to the Arizona faithful, alright, but the Utes probably couldn’t wait to get out of that building on Thursday, March 13 -- and get back to Salt Lake City after losing 71-39.
To be quite honest the Utes were probably lucky the Wildcats didn’t beat them worse -- because this game was over as soon as Arizona went on a mini-run of 15-0 to start the bloodletting.
Before that mini-run the Utes were still in the game -- down just 10-6 midway through the first half.
But then Arizona went on its mini-run -- and Utah didn’t score for eight minutes.
“They took us out of our offense,” Utah’s Dallin Bachynski said in the post-game press conference. “The amount of pressure they put on us…they were really putting on a defensive clinic.”
The Utes shot just 25 percent from the field -- and were even worse from three-point land, stroking 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.
To make matters worse, Wright was held to five points and Loveridge had two. On the season the two players combined to average 31 points per contest.
And to add insult to injury, no Ute player scored in double figures in the loss.
At 21-10 overall, Utah will now await its postseason destination, believed to be a berth in the NIT Tournament -- because the NCAA Tournament is now probably out of the question.