This afternoon, your Washington State Cougars and their ten game losing streak head to Salt Lake City, UT to take on the 18-7 Utah Running Utes. The game will tip off at the Huntsman Center at 2 PM PDT.
You can catch this game on the Pac-12 Networks and can be streamed lie on the Pac-12 App and Pac-12.com. You can also listen to the WSU radio broadcast on tunein.com.
The Utes can take credit for 10% of the Cougs' six week stretch without a win from when they left Friel Court with a lopsided 92-71 victory back in January. Jordan Loveridge dropped five three-pointers and 22 points total to lead all scorers in the rout, and Jordan Taylor tallied five three-balls of his own. Jakob Poeltl did pretty much anything he wanted in the paint, racking up 14 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Defense is clearly the focus today, as the Cougs can't realistically expect to stay in a game where they allow a team to shoot 50% from behind the arc and also get 42 points in the paint. Utah scored 22 points off 13 WSU turnovers in the previous matchup, so we'll see if the Cougs have learned to take care of the basketball since Thursday.
Utah is the slowest team tempo-wise in the Pac-12, which makes their 92 points in Pullman doubly impressive. They only average about 66 possessions per game, usually taking 19 seconds of the shot clock each time. They are the Pac-12's best team from close range, making 54% of two-point shots in conference play. They don't allow too many free throws and teams don't make threes against them (33%, 3rd best defensive percentage in the conference.) Today could be very uphill and it could get out of hand quickly.
Kenpom rates the Running Utes as the 46th best team in America and projects a 79-66 victory for the home team with 89% confidence. Vegas gives the Cougs 13 points with an over/under of 132.
This page will also serve as your game thread for this afternoon so feel free to cheer for the upset along with the rest of us here.