A Look Back at Vegas and the Pac-12 Tournament

Posted on March 18th, 2013

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One week ago, 50 MUSS members boarded a bus headed for Las Vegas to watch the Runnin’ Utes play in their second Pac-12 basketball tournament. After having watched the Utes win their last two regular season games, we went down with the expectation to play at least one competitive game and possibly come away with a win. We were given so much more.

After news broke of two USC players getting suspended, we all had high hopes that we would witness the Utes move past the first round. The seventh seeded Trojans were favored, but not by much. And with the way the team had been playing in their past few games, we knew we could make some waves. When the first game tipped, the MUSS and many other Utah fans were in full force. The Utes and Trojans played a tight game, with the Utes pulling out a narrow 3 point victory. The high intensity the MUSS brought to the game not only helped boost Utah to win, but it also broke the bleachers in the MGM Grand Arena. We left the game feeling good, knowing our trip was extended for another day.

The next day, we all anxiously awaited the game against the 2nd seeded Cal Bears. This was a team that had beaten the Utes twice during the regular season and was expected to do it again a third time. Utah had other plans. The Utes played tough, the MUSS was loud, and the game rolled on. With under twenty seconds left, we watched as the Utes, trailing by three, rallied. We held our breath as Jarred Dubois dribbled down the court and pulled up and shot the ball. After what seemed like an eternity, the ball sank through the net, the MUSS went wild, and the play was later featured in the SportsCenter Top 10. At that point, no one had any doubts that the Utes would pull off the upset. Utah went on to score 20 points in the five minutes of overtime, securing a 10 point win over Cal and advancing the Utes to the Pac-12 semi-finals.

As we gathered in the MUSS for the third time that week, we all had strong belief that the run would continue. We had watched the Utes beat Oregon less than a week before, and we hoped to see it happen again. Unfortunately, the clock struck midnight on Utah’s Cinderella run in the Pac-12, and the Ducks won 64-45.

While it would be easy to dwell on the loss, those of us that took the trip down came away with a very positive feeling. While we had all hoped for a win, none of us ever thought the Utes would actually make it to the semi-finals. And the magic we saw at the Cal game stood out far more than the stinging loss to Oregon. The tournament showed us the potential for the future of the Runnin’ Utes. The future is bright. This program is on the rise, and the MUSS will be there every step of the way. Do you dare to meet us?

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