March 12, 2004
Box Score |
2004 Men's Basketball Championships
BYU and Utah have met 237 times. Tonight's game is the seventh contest between the teams in a postseason tournament, with BYU having the advantage 4-3. BYU defeated Utah in their last MWC Tournament match-up in the 2000 semifinals, 58-44.
Utah has appeared in the semifinals all five years of the MWC Tournament. This will be the Utes first appearance in the championship game. Utah will also be making its first trip to a conference title game since 1999 when it won the WAC crown 60-45 over New Mexico.
Utah is the second #3-seed to make it to the championship game. UNLV was the third seed in 2002 and fell to #5 seed San Diego State in the title game.
This will be the third year in a row a #1 or #2 seed has not made it to the MWC Championship game.
Three out of four seasons, BYU has been eliminated by the eventual tournament champion. BYU won the tournament title in 2001.
BYU is now 2-2 in MWC semifinal appearances.
Utah improves to 4-1 when ahead at the break in MWC Tournament play.
BYU had its nine-game win streak snapped with tonight's loss.
In the two previous meetings this season, Mark Bigelow of BYU averaged 20.5 points (22 and 19) and shot 56.5 percent from the field (13-of-23). Tonight, Bigelow scored just four points on 2-of-8 shooting from the floor. He started the game 0-for-5 before making his first basket at the 18:03 mark of the second half.
Tim Frost of Utah scored in double- figures for the fifth straight game with 10 points tonight against BYU.
Nick Jacobson led Utah with 19 points and a season-tying high seven rebounds. It was his 25th double-figure scoring game of the season.
Utah's field goal percentage (.420) tonight was the lowest of the season in a win. The Utes previous low was 42.2 percent in a 60-49 win against Wyoming on Jan. 17th.
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colo.
Semifinal Game 1 -#3 Utah 54, #2 BYU 51
#3 Utah will face the winner of the #4 UNLV vs. #8 Colorado State game in Saturday's championship game at 8 p.m.
Four of the five 2004 MWC Tournament games have been decided by six points or less. The only double-figure margin was #8 Colorado State's 12 point win over #1 Air Force (60-48).