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Will Utah make the 2024 Women's NCAA Tournament? Team Resume & Outlook | February 12

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Will Utah make the 2024 Women's NCAA Tournament? Team Resume & Outlook | February 12


When the women’s 2024 March Madness tournament comes around, will Utah be part of the proceedings? For a bracketology breakdown and a look at its tournament resume, keep scrolling.

Want to bet on Utah’s upcoming games or futures options? Head to BetMGM to see what is available!

How Utah ranks

Record Pac-12 Record AP Poll Coaches Poll RPI
18-7 8-5 20 21 25

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Utah’s best wins

When Utah defeated the UCLA Bruins (No. 9 in the AP’s Top 25) on January 22 by a score of 94-81, it was its signature win of the year thus far. Kennady McQueen, in that signature victory, delivered a team-high 21 points with nine rebounds and four assists. Maty Wilke also played a part with 16 points, two rebounds and two assists.

Next best wins

  • 78-58 at home over USC (No. 10/AP Poll) on January 19
  • 73-61 on the road over Washington State (No. 33/RPI) on February 4
  • 74-48 on the road over Saint Joseph’s (PA) (No. 39/RPI) on December 7
  • 93-56 at home over Cal (No. 64/RPI) on January 14
  • 70-48 at home over Oregon (No. 79/RPI) on February 11

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Utah’s quadrant records

Quadrant 1: 4-7 | Quadrant 2: 4-0 | Quadrant 3: 3-0 | Quadrant 4: 5-0

  • According to the RPI, Utah has four Quadrant 1 wins, tied for the 16th-most in Division I. But it also has seven Quadrant 1 losses, tied for the 17th-most.
  • Against Quadrant 2 teams (based on the RPI), the Utes are 4-0 (1.000%) — tied for the 23rd-most victories.

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Schedule insights

  • According to our predictions, Utah faces the 24th-hardest schedule in college basketball the rest of the season.
  • Glancing at the Utes’ upcoming schedule, they have five games versus teams that are above .500 and two games against teams with worse records than their own.
  • Of Utah’s five remaining games this season, it has three upcoming games against teams ranked in the AP’s Top 25.

Utah’s next game

  • Matchup: Utah Utes vs. Colorado Buffaloes
  • Date/Time: Friday, February 16 at 8:00 PM ET
  • Location: Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • TV Channel: Pac-12 Network

Sportsbook promo codes

Check out betting offers for upcoming Utah games across these sportsbooks:

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Why No. 18 Utah’s 2-game road trip to Los Angeles will factor heavily in the Pac-12 race

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Why No. 18 Utah’s 2-game road trip to Los Angeles will factor heavily in the Pac-12 race


Over the past five weeks, No. 18 Utah has begun to hit its stride — the Utes’ 8-2 record in the Pac-12 during that stretch is evidence of how far they’ve come since starting league play 1-3.

With two weeks left in the regular season, there is a lot at stake not only for Utah but several other conference teams in a league that has six squads ranked in the top 20 of the latest Associated Press poll.  

The next challenge for Utah, after earning a thrilling 1-point win over then-No. 8 Colorado last week, is a two-game road swing at No. 12 UCLA and No. 7 USC this weekend.

“Right now, we’re just focused on the next games,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. “It’s late February. You can’t get too ahead of yourself thinking about ‘if this and then we got to do this.’ You just have to focus on one game, and right now it’s UCLA.”

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The Utes beat both the Bruins and Trojans last month when those teams visited Salt Lake City, though facing the pair on the road will bring its own obstacles, par for the course in the ultra competitive Pac-12.

“We’re used to it playing in the Pac-12 every single week, and I feel like we’re playing like a top 20 team. We’ve gotten used to it and it’s definitely preparing us for the postseason,” Utah forward Jenna Johnson said.

A key at this point in the season is not looking too far ahead. Right now, there are six teams within three games of each other atop the Pac-12 standings.

Four of those teams will likely earn first-round byes in the Pac-12 tournament — which runs March 6-10 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — while the other two will have to play in the first round.

Utah and UCLA are currently tied for fifth in the league standings at 9-5, one game behind Colorado, Oregon State and USC, who are all 10-4 in Pac-12 action.

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They’re fighting to play one less game in Las Vegas, be a bit more fresh come NCAA Tournament time and in all likelihood playing for the right to host the first two rounds in the NCAA Tournament.

Utah did that last year as a No. 2 seed. Right now, the Utes are a projected No. 5 seed in ESPN’s bracketology, though that could change with a solid finish to the regular season and a good showing at the Pac-12 tournament.

The other five top teams in the Pac-12 — Stanford, USC, Colorado, Oregon State and UCLA — are all projected to host the NCAA’s first two rounds.

Stanford is atop the conference standings with a 12-2 league record, and the Cardinal play three teams in the bottom half of the standings in their final four games.

“I just remember the level of intensity and focus it took to beat them. UCLA is so well-coached and executes their stuff really well,” Johnson said. “That’s just the type of mentality that we have to go into tomorrow with.” — Utah forward Jenna Johnson

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The Buffaloes, the Utes’ traveling partner, will also be playing at USC and UCLA this weekend, helping to potentially sort out the seeding.

“That first-round bye is huge, but there’s six of us that all have a shot at it and we all want it and as it all plays out, we’re all playing each other, so it’s going to be pretty decisive,” Roberts said.

“But for us to host the NCAA Tournament, we’ve got to finish out the four regular-season games well and then you know, we can’t lay an egg in the Pac-12 tournament. We’ve got to make some noise there, too. Everything that we’ve talked about all season long is still in front of us.”

The first task, though, is facing UCLA, a team that’s been ranked as high as No. 2 this season and nearly beat the Utes last month after trailing almost the entire game, though Utah forced overtime and earned the win in the extra session.

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“I just remember the level of intensity and focus it took to beat them. UCLA is so well-coached and executes their stuff really well,” Johnson said. “That’s just the type of mentality that we have to go into tomorrow with.”

Utah neutralized the Bruins’ top scorer, Lauren Betts, in their first meeting, holding the 6-foot-7 center to seven points and five rebounds while also forcing her into five turnovers.

“She’s a big presence inside for them and she’s a great finisher and post player, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge to keep her off the boards and things like that,” Utah forward Alissa Pili said of Betts.

“She impacts the game a lot, so we’ve just got to be smart about that.”

Roberts said that the Bruins, who like many other teams have dealt with their share of injuries, are now healthy.

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Utah’s coach added her team isn’t 100% — Dasia Young, the hero of the Colorado game, missed four straight games before that contest — but “we’ll roll with it.”

“It’s a huge challenge, but it’s fun in February to be playing for something and to go on the road and have an us against them kind of thing, so we’re excited,” Roberts said.

Winning at UCLA (Thursday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN) will be a tall task — the Bruins have gone 12-1 at home this season. 

“Just like anybody, they’re better at home, and so we’ve got to be better than we were here,” Roberts said.

“That was a game where I thought it was very well-played by both teams. We controlled parts of it, they controlled parts of it and then we just kind of ran away with it in overtime but the thing with UCLA — playing them, beating them, you have to play hard.”

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It’s a challenge the Utes, the preseason favorite to win the Pac-12, are embracing as they close in on the end of a regular season that’s been full of ebbs and flows and includes coming off a high moment in that victory over Colorado last week.

“For us going down to LA, we’re going to need that. Literally, we’re going to need some extra life, some extra juice. It’s hard to win on the road in this league, but we’re up for the challenge,” Roberts said.

Two things Pili identified that will be critical for Utah to find success this weekend are avoiding turnovers and playing together.

“When we play together, we’re a very hard team to stop,” she said, “and just locking in on defense because I think when we play great defense, we’re good on the offensive end.”

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WE DID IT! Utah Takes the Crown in Shocking Win – Here's What…

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WE DID IT! Utah Takes the Crown in Shocking Win – Here's What…


Utah gets dragged a lot for being “so religious” or “too judgmental,” but despite it’s critics, Utah is the #1 place to live in America.

Every place has it’s share of pros and cons, wins and flaws, but Utah definitely has more pros than cons and is ranked #1 out of all 50 states. So Cool! We should celebrate!

So what how was the ranking done? U.S. News a world report compiled the list of criteria and calculated the scores. This is what the Rankings Scorecard looks like:

Utah came in #1 in 2 categories as well as overall. Excellent!  These aren’t wimpy categories either. PLUS we were in the top 20 in 7 out of the 8 categories. That is an incredible feat.

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Here’s how all of Utah’s rankings all shook out-

Crime and Corrections #15 This category is based on crime rate and property crime rates. We were #20 in crime rate and #7 in corrections outcomes. So we should be congratulating our state police agencies for doing such a great job in de-escalation and positive corrections outcomes. Thank you, THANK YOU to all of those who protect and serve! ♥

Economy #1 We killed it in this category! Most of us are wondering how to afford to live here, but with a great business environment, there is more growth than ANY OTHER STATE. We also have the best employment rate of all 50 states. The overall Best States rankings takes into account each state’s business environment, labor market and overall economic growth.

Education #5 This category looked at pre-K-high school as well as higher education. Despite the federal government jumping in with “No Child Left Behind,” most states are leaving it up to the local school boards. If you are frustrated with anything that is happening with the schools in your area, take action and put that on your list of things to ask your political leaders and those running for office. We have to stop complaining and start acting.

Fiscal Stability #1 This has to do with effective state administration and the fiscal health of long-term and short-term goals. You have the power to shape your state. Make suggestions and ask questions of your leaders. Emails can work wonders.

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Health Care #7 This is a biggie. We received this ranking based on the quality, access and positive public health outcomes from our health care system.

Infrastructure #4 U.S News evaluated the quality of live for each states residents base on these key factors: state’s use of renewable energy, the quality of its roads and bridges, and its residents’ access to high-speed internet. Minnesota came in 1st in this category.

Natural Environment #46 This is where we took a nosedive. But, we knew we would. Air quality and pollution need our attention ASAP. We need to remember this issue when it comes time for voting in new leadership. Utah Caucuses are March 5th.

Opportunity #20 Not as bad as Natural Environment, but still something to think about correcting come voting time. This category deals with equity and equality. Wage gaps still exist within the exact same jobs/titles/output between men and women.

Utah is an incredible place to live. It’s diverse beauty is unmatched. It’s clean and safe and if we are looking for the positive in life, we will find more of it.

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Final Rankings Scorecard:

For more detail on this ranking you can check out : https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings

Aaronee LOVES the country lifestyle. She has a great little farm with Alpacas, goats, dogs, cats and chickens! So yes, some…..stuff on her boots. 😉 Aaronee’s playlist has everything from Reba & Brooks & Dunn to Rascal Flatts & Garth to Miranda Lambert & Laney Wilson to Kane Brown & Morgan Wallen. She loves them all. ♥ Get her some chips and salsa or tater tots and a root beer float and she is set. She loves chatting on social media so make sure to hit her up on the Cat Country Utah Facebook page!


 

Gallery: St George, Utah Is Showing Off After Record Rain And Snowfall

St George and Surrounding Areas Show Off Stunning Views

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Gallery Credit: Aaronee

Gallery: Cedar City, Utah Is Showing Off After Record Rain And Snowfall

Cedar City, Utah & Surrounding Areas Are Absolutely Gorgeous This Time Of Year

Gallery Credit: Aaronee





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Tale of two cities: Nevada town’s employees paid more than those across Utah border

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Tale of two cities: Nevada town’s employees paid more than those across Utah border


The story of West Wendover, Nevada, is a tale of two cities, one told in part by the pay of its city employees versus those in adjacent Wendover, Utah.

A white line on the main street — and a canyon-sized gap in pay — divide the twin towns.

The city manager in West Wendover, population roughly 4,600, earned $170,000 in 2023, city pay records show. The city administrator in Wendover, population about 1,200, was paid $41,000, according to the Transparent Utah website.

There seem to be no hard feelings. “Whether it’s fair or not, I don’t make that judgment,” said Glenn Wadsworth, the part-time city administrator of Wendover, established in the early 1900s as a railroad town.

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“They have legal gambling on the west side, which generates a lot of money” that can be used to pay higher wages, Wadsworth said.

Five hotel-casinos allow the number of people in West Wendover to balloon to 30,000 on weekends, and create a need for 24/7 police protection and other services, said Chris Melville, West Wendover’s city manager.

“We’re a gaming community,” Melville said.“We have marijuana. That is also a factor, where folks come from Utah to use the cannabis. The same with liquor.”

Gambling and non-medical marijuana are illegal in Utah, and laws surrounding alcohol are more restrictive.

“We depend on that,” Melville said. “If Utah wasn’t doing that, we likely wouldn’t exist.”

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The two towns view themselves as one community, but municipal services for the most part are handled separately, Melville said.

He grew up on the Utah side of the border in Wendover, where he went to school with Wadsworth’s son. Business began to flourish on the Nevada side in the 1980s, he recalled. West Wendover was incorporated in 1991.

City ‘takes care of its employees’

The community’s remoteness makes it challenging to recruit employees, Melville said. The city offers pay and benefits more in line with those of Elko, the county seat two hours away with quadruple the population, he said.

“We have to be a little more competitive to keep people here or get them here to start with,” Melville said. “I’m not going to say that our city doesn’t take care of its employees, because we do.”

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Among the city’s top-paid employees are police officers, who records show are amassing lucrative overtime. Several times a week, officers need to transport a person who has been arrested to Elko, a four-hour, round-trip trek, Melville said. West Wendover has holding cells but no jail.

In 2023, the top-paid employee in Wendover was in the police department and earned $55,000, records show. In West Wendover, the third-highest paid employee, after Melville and the fire chief, was a police lieutenant who made $117,000, records show.

Melville said it has become harder recently to hire officers, as has been the case in much of the country, because of some negative attitudes about police work. Most officers are recruited from Utah, with some, he acknowledged, being poached from Wendover.

Once in a while, the tide flows the other way, with an officer going from West Wendover to Wendover. The chief of police in Wendover took the position after retiring from the West Wendover force and getting his pension from the state of Nevada, Melville confirmed.

In 2023, nine of West Wendover’s 82 employees – or 11 percent – were paid more than $100,000 during the calendar year. All but two of Wendover’s 26 employees made less than $50,000.

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Costs of living expenses for a single adult in West Wendover in 2020 were about 16 percent higher than average for Nevada, according to the financial news website 24/7.

‘It keeps me alive’

The Transparent Nevada website has incomplete pay information for small towns in Nevada. The Transparent Utah site shows that communities of comparable size to West Wendover, albeit without the city’s unique characteristics, pay considerably less.

The top official in Utah’s Elk Ridge, La Verkin and Kanab, earned $128,000, $120,000, and $119,000, respectively.

Melville, who also is the director of community development and heads up the human resources department, said he hasn’t gotten pushback from members of the community about his pay.

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“They know me. They know the work I’m doing” and have enjoyed the improvement in the community’s quality of life, said Melville, who has worked for the city for 26 years, 22 of them as its manager.

Wadsworth said he took the job as Wendover city administrator after retiring from the mining industry.

“I was called to this position,” the 80-year-old said. “They needed to have somebody to help the city. It was only supposed to be for a short period of time, and it’s been 23 years now. It keeps me alive, I think. It gives me something to do.”

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MaryHynes1 on X. Hynes is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing.

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