Anyone who knows us knows that we are huge fans of the University of Utah. Both of our founders graduated there, so we are pretty jacked about the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Since we are going to the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado to watch the game we figured we would share a little preview of the first round matchup.
Utah will be playing Fresno State. It’ll be on Thursday at 5:30. The game is played on St. Patrick’s Day so expect some green to be mixed in with our red.
What Vegas Says
You have to be worried about Marvelle Harris. The senior guard is a very dangerous player for the Bulldogs. He averages 20.6 points per game. He puts up twice as many shots as any other player. The key is not letting him drive because he’s only 32% from behind the arc but scores when he gets into the lane.
Who else is tough? Julien Lewis is the deep threat. Cezar Guerrero and Jamel Taylor are two other solid outside shooters we have to watch.
Fresno is coached by Rodney Terry. He’s been there for five years and has improved this team every year. The first season he only managed three wins. Then he progressed to 5, 9, 10, and finally put together 13 this season.
Last season he coached this team all the way to the CBI Finals, so you know Fresno has some experience dealing with the postseason. However, this will be his first NCAA Tournament game.
Fresno is one of the best college basketball teams at winning the turnover game. 30 time this year the Bulldogs have had as many or fewer turnovers than their opponent and the team is 24-6 in those games. Part of that is because they are 12th in turnovers with only 14.9% of their possessions resulting in giving it up. They turn over their opponents 21% of the time.
We definitely have the height edge. There isn’t anyone as tall as Jakob Poeltl. I don’t know how they are going to stop him down low without doubling him up.
If Fresno collapses down on the post then Kyle Kuzma or Fresno’s other lethal shooters will be able to knock down open looks all day.
It helps that Torren Jones has missed the last 12 games for Fresno. He’s their best interior threat and without him they haven’t been able to score in the post as easily.
I think Utah wins this game easily Thursday.