Rick Majuers has a 16-9 record in NCAA Tournament games during his tenure at Utah.
March 18, 2003
Just the Facts
Utah, the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Regional, received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 24-7 record. The Runnin' Utes open NCAA Tournament play against No. 8 seeded Oregon (23-9) on Friday at approximately 2:00 p.m. (CST) at the Gaylord Entertainment Center (17,413) in Nashville, Tenn. Should Utah win that game, it will face the winner of No. 1 Kentucky (29-3) vs. No. 16 IUPUI (20-13) in the second round on Sunday at approximately 4:00 p.m. (CST).
All of the Utes' games in the NCAA Tournament will be broadcast on the Utah Sports Network (KALL-910 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host) call the action.
CBS Sports has exclusive rights to the NCAA Tournament. Announcers for the first and second round games in Nashville are Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Billy Packer (analyst) and Bonnie Bernstein (reporter). Games not shown on local CBS affiliates can be seen on pay-per-view offered by DIRECTV.
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes enter the NCAA Tournament with a 24-7 mark overall and were the Mountain West Conference regular-season co-champions with an 11-3 record. Utah won 16 of 17-including nine in a row in conference play-before splitting its last six. Last weekend at the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., the top-seeded Utes defeated Air Force 42-38 in the quarterfinals before falling to UNLV 64-41 in the semifinals.
Utah was ranked 15th in the NCAA in scoring defense and 26th in three-point percentage as of March 11, and is currently giving up 60.0 points per game while hitting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. Utah went 15-1 at home this season, 7-4 on the road and 2-2 on neutral courts.
Three Utes are averaging double figures in points. Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) leads the way in scoring (13.1 ppg), shooting a team-best 50.2 percent from the field, and is second in rebounding (4.8 rpg). Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) is second in scoring (12.9 ppg) and is shooting 42.2 percent from three-point range (73-for-173) and a team-best 84.1 percent from the free throw line. Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210), who sat out the MWC Tournament with mono and an enlarged spleen, is third in scoring (11.6 ppg) and leads the effort in rebounding (6.7 rpg). Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.1 apg). Sophomore guard Marc Jackson (6-1, 177) is fourth in scoring (8.8 ppg), shooting 44.3 percent from three-point range.
Johnsen Questionable For Start Of NCAA Tournament
Utah senior forward Britton Johnsen, diagnosed last week with infectious mononucleosis, is listed as questionable for the Utes' NCAA Tournament games this weekend. Following an examination and further tests by team physician Dr. Dave Petron on Monday morning, it was determined that Johnsen's enlarged spleen had not diminished in size enough for him to be cleared to practice and travel with the team on Tuesday evening. He will be reevaluated on Wednesday, and if cleared to play at that time could join the team in Nashville in time for its NCAA Tournament first round games against Oregon on Friday afternoon.
As of Monday, Johnsen no longer has a fever or swelling in his throat, and his energy level was much improved. He began to do some shooting and light workouts.
NCAA Tournament First & Second Rounds at Nashville, Tenn.
First Round - Friday (March 21) Midwest Region Game 1 - No. 1 Kentucky (29-3) vs. No. 16 IUPUI (20-13), 11:30 a.m. (CST) Game 2 - No. 8 Oregon (23-9) vs. No. 9 Utah (24-7), 30 minutes after
South Region Game 3 - No. 3 Xavier (25-5) vs. No. 14 Troy State (26-5), 6:25 p.m. (CST) Game 4 - No. 6 Maryland (19-9) vs. No. 11 UNC Wilmington (24-6), 30 minutes after
Second Round - Sunday (March 23) Game 5 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 1:30 p.m. (CST) Game 6 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 30 minutes after
The Ducks, seeded No. 8 in the Midwest Region, are 23-9 overall and placed fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 10-8 record. After dropping their final two regular season games on the road to Arizona State (91-77) on March 6 and Arizona (88-80) on March 8, Oregon claimed the Pac-10 Conference Tournament title last weekend. The Ducks defeated Arizona State (83-82) in the quarterfinals, UCLA (75-74) in the semifinals and USC (74-66) in the championship game.
Junior guard Luke Ridnour (6-2. 165), who was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, leads UO in scoring (19.9 ppg), assists (6.7 apg) and steals (61). He is shooting 39.1 percent from three-point range (81-of-207) and 88.1 percent from the free throw line. Junior forward Luke Jackson (6-7, 210), a first-team all-conference pick, is the Ducks' second-leading scorer (16.1 ppg) and top rebounder (6.9 rpg). Jackson is second in assists (3.7 apg) and steals (53) and is shooting 86.7 percent from the line. Junior guard James Davis (5-10, 175) is the third player averaging double figures in scoring (10.7 ppg), shooting 44.1 percent from three-point range and 90.5 percent at the line.
Oregon is making its eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament all-time and its third appearance in the last four years, also going in 2000 and 2002. The Ducks' all-time record in the NCAAs is 9-6.
Head Coach Ernie Kent
Ernie Kent is 117-67 in his sixth season at Oregon and 207-147 in his 12th year as a head coach. Kent was named the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and led Oregon to its first outright league title since 1938-39. The Ducks also advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 1960 and won 26 games for the first time since 1944-45.
As the head coach at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., from 1991-92 to 1996-97, Kent put together a 90-80 ledger, including a 23-8 mark in 1996-97 and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Rockford, Ill., native became the first African-American head coach in the history of University of Oregon athletics when he was named to the post April 10, 1997.
Kent served as an assistant at Stanford under Mike Montgomery for two years (1990-91), helping the Cardinal advance to the NIT both years and winning the NIT title in 1991. As an assistant to Boyd Grant at Colorado State (1988-1989), he aided the Rams in their postseason bids in the 1988 NIT (advancing to the semifinals) and 1989 NCAA Tournament second round after clinching the Western Athletic Conference championship.
Utah and Oregon had two common opponents this season in Pepperdine and Arizona State.
* Both teams won at Pepperdine, with the Ducks winning 105-90 on Dec. 14 and the Runnin' Utes getting a 77-61 win on Dec. 20.
* Utah split its two games with Arizona State, losing 83-79 in overtime on Nov. 27 in the fifth-place game of the Maui Invitational and winning 78-55 on Dec. 7 in Salt Lake City. Oregon took two of three games from the Sun Devils, winning 94-73 in Eugene, Ore., on Jan. 4, losing 91-77 in Tempe, Ariz., on March 6 during the regular season. The Ducks defeated ASU in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals 83-82 on March 13.
Utah-Oregon Series Notes
* Utah and Oregon meet for the 13th time on Friday with the series tied at 6-6.
* The Utes are 1-2 against the Ducks on neutral courts with their one win coming 64-63 on Dec. 28, 1967 in Portland, Ore.
* The Ducks have won both previous NCAA Tournament games against the Utes. Oregon won 69-66 on March 24, 1945 in the West Regional finals Kansas City and 65-54 on March 11, 1960 in the West Regional semifinals in Seattle, Wash.
* Utah and Oregon last played with a home-and-home series during the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons. The Utes lost 73-66 on Dec. 7, 1989 in Eugene, Ore. Utah returned the favor with a 95-81 win on Dec. 6, 1990 in Salt Lake City.
* Rick Majerus was on the bench for the later two games and is 1-1 against Oregon in his career.
Utah's NCAA Tournament History
Utah is making its 24th appearance in the NCAA Tournament all-time. The U. is the in the NCAAs for the second consecutive year after making it to the first round last season before falling to eventual national runner-up Indiana. Utah made a school record sixth consecutive appearances 1995-2000 before not making the field in 2001. The Utes are 32-26 (.552) in NCAA Tournament play with four NCAA Final Four appearances (1944, 1961, 1966, 1998) and one NCAA championship (1944).
Including this year, Utah ranks tied for 13th all-time in NCAA Tournament appearances (24) and tied for 12th in NCAA Tournament games played (58). Only 14 teams have more Final Four appearances than Utah and only 11 schools have been in more championship games than the Utes.
Nashville and Midwest Bracket Familiar Territory
This is the third time Utah has been assigned to the Midwest Region in NCAA Tournament play. The Utes were also in that bracket in 1999, playing first and second round games in New Orleans, La., and again in 2000, making the trip to Cleveland, Ohio, for two games.
Utah is playing in Nashville, Tenn., for the second time. The Runnin' Utes were sent to the Southeast Region as a No. 8 seed in 1993, defeating No. 9 Pittsburgh 86-65 in the first round before losing to top seeded Kentucky 83-62 in the second round at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gym.
Utes In The NCAA Tournament Under Majerus
Utah is appearing in its 10th NCAA Tournament overall and its eighth in a row under Rick Majerus. (The Utes missed the tournament in 2001 while Majerus took a personal leave of absence). Majerus has led the Utes to a 16-9 record (.640) in the NCAA Tournament. Utah has made it to at least the second round of the tournament all but once under Majerus, winning eight consecutive first round games before losing to No. 5 Indiana as a No. 12 seed in 2002. The Utes have made it to the Sweet 16 four times, the Elite Eight twice and the Final Four in 1998 during the Majerus era.
Since Majerus' tenure began in 1989-90, the Utes have the 13th-most wins (16) and the 14th-best winning percentage (.640) in NCAA Tournament play. In the past five years, Utah moved up to 12th place in both NCAA Tournament wins (7) and winning percentage (.636).
Utah's No. 9 seed is its second lowest under Majerus. The Utes earned a No. 12 seed in 2002, which was Utah's lowest all-time since seeds have been assigned. During the Majerus era, Utah has been a No. 2 seed twice (1997, 1999) a No. 3 seed once (1998), a No. 4 seed three times (1991, 1995, 1996) and a No. 8 twice (1993, 2000).
Majerus in the NCAA Tournament All-Time
Rick Majerus' all-time record in the NCAA Tournament is 17-10 (.630). In addition to his 10 appearances with Utah, Majerus led Ball State to the second round of the NCAAs in 1989.
Recapping Utah's Last NCAA Appearance
Utah's last trip to the NCAA Tournament was in 2002, when it played in a South Region bracket on March 14 in Sacramento, Calif. The 12th seeded Utes lost to No. 5 Indiana 75-56 in the first round. Indiana went on to finish as the national runner-up. It was the 13th time overall and the seventh time since 1990 Utah was knocked out of the tournament by team that advanced to the Final Four.
Utah's Huntsman Center Hosting NCAAs This Week, Ute Women Also Make NCAAs
The University of Utah will be a major player in the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments this week. Not only did the Ute men's and women's teams get bids in their respective brackets, but Utah is also hosting men's first and second round games in its home facility, the Jon M. Huntsman Center, on Thursday and Saturday. Utah is the only school in the country holding such a distinction.
The Huntsman Center ranks third among the nation's arenas for most NCAA Tournament basketball games hosted, with 69 games having been played in the facility. With six games on tap for next weekend, the JMHC will overtake New York's Madison Square Garden (71 games) for second place behind Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium (83 games).
The Huntsman Center hosted the 1979 NCAA Final Four featuring Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and is welcoming the NCAA Men's Tournament for the 12th time in the last 19 years. The men's NCAA regional tournament received a Huntsman Center booking in 1984, '85, and '87, and the NCAA first and second rounds took place in the arena in 1988, '89, '90, '91, '93, '95, '97 and 2000. It also hosted NCAA Women's Tournament first and second round games in 2001. NCAA first and second round games return to the Huntsman Center in 2006.
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200), a third team all-Mountain West selection for the second consecutive season, is Utah's second-best scorer (12.9 ppg). Jacobson also paces the team in three-pointers made, hitting 73-of-173 (42.2 percent) from beyond the arc. He ranks 14th in the Mountain West in scoring, seventh in three-point percentage and fourth in three-pointers made (2.35).
* Jacobson has scored in double-figures in 46 of the last 61 games dating back to last season, including 25 of the 31 games in 2002-03. He has led the Utes in scoring nine times this season.
* With his numbers this season, Jacobson ranks first in three-pointers made (73) and second in three-point attempts (173) on the Ute single-season charts. Last season, Jacobson set the Utah single-season mark that he has now broken with 71 three-pointers, bettering the mark of 68 by Phil Dixon in 1991-92. He also has 160 attempts, which now ranks fourth all-time.
* Jacobson has already climbed into third place in career three-pointers made (181) and second in three-pointers attempted (430) at Utah. His career three-point percentage of 42.1 entering the NCAA Tournament ranks fourth all-time at Utah. Jacobson became the 30th player in school history to score 1,000 points on March 6 against Colorado State. He currently has 1,036 points in his career to rank 28th, 15 points behind teammate Britton Johnsen in 27th place.
Frost Formidable Inside
Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) has established himself as a strong interior presence in his first season with the Utes, earning second team all-Mountain West honors. He has paced the team in scoring in eight games and rebounds 10 times this season. Frost is the Utes' scoring leader (13.1 ppg), getting at least 20 points four times and reaching double figures in 23 games this season, including 16 of the last 18. He is also second in rebounds per game (4.8 rpg). Frost ranks 13th in the Mountain West in scoring and 14th in rebounds.
* An inside-outside threat, he is shooting 50.2 percent from the field to rank 11th in the MWC and 45.0 percent from outside the arc. Before missing his first attempt against Colorado State on March 6, Frost had made 18 consecutive free throws dating back to Feb. 10. He has made 37-of-43 in the last 10 games and is shooting 72.7 percent at the line this season, ranking 11th in the Mountain West. He also has 24 blocked shots, including a season-high of four against Colorado State on Feb. 8, to rank 10th in the conference.
* Over the last eight regular-season games, Frost shot 57.1 percent from the field, 58.8 percent from three-point range (10-of-17) and 90.0 percent from the free throw line while averaging 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Frost set a career-high with 23 points against Colorado State on March 6. He shot 8-of-16 from the field, 3-of-4 from three-point range and 4-of-5 at the line in 30 minutes, while also getting five rebounds and two blocked shots. Before then, Frost scored 22 points against UNLV on Feb. 17 and came back in the Utes' next game with 21 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes against BYU on Feb. 24. He had a conference season-best seven rebounds against both New Mexico (March 1) and Air Force (March 3).
Rating the Rookies
With only four lettermen returning from last season and 10 scholarship players on the roster, Rick Majerus has played his freshmen extensively this season. Here's a breakdown of how the quartet of Richard Chaney (G/F, 6-4, 186), Tim Drisdom (G, 6-3, 203), Chris Jackson (C, 6-11, 242) and Bryant Markson (F, 6-6, 182) has been producing.
* Chaney (5.6 ppg) ranks fifth, Drisdom (4.8 ppg) seventh and Markson (3.5 ppg) eighth on the team in scoring. Chaney is also third on the team in rebounding (3.5 rpg).
* Drisdom, who's started every game at point guard, leads the Utes in assists (3.1 apg) and is fourth in rebounding (3.1 rpg). He is also shooting 43.9 percent from three-point range, making 25-of-57. In conference play, Drisdom had 38 assists to 22 turnovers (1.73 ratio)
* Chaney started both games in the Mountain West Conference Tournament in place of Britton Johnsen. After getting five points and five boards against Air Force in the quarterfinals, Chaney scored in double figures for the sixth time this season with 10 points and had a career-high seven rebounds against UNLV. In the tournament, he averaged 7.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent at the line.
Mountain West Conference Tournament Rewind
Utah, the top seed in last week's Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., defeated No. 8 Air Force 42-38 in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 4 UNLV on its homecourt 64-41 in the semifinals. Sixth seeded Colorado State defeated UNLV in the championship game 62-61 to get its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1990.
Tim Frost scored 12 points including four free throws in the final 14 seconds to lead top-seeded Utah past Air Force 42-38 in the first round. Nick Jacobson had 10 points for the Utes. Both teams shot poorly all night. Utah was 12-of-31 from the field for 38.7 percent, while Air Force was 13-of-42 for 31 percent. Utah faired much better from three-point range, making 4-of-7..
Against UNLV, Utah suffered its worst loss of the season (23 points) in a 64-41 setback to UNLV in the semifinals on Friday. The Utes scored a season-low 41 points and shot a season-low 30.2 percent from the field. Utah led 31-23 with 17:42 to play in the game before the Rebels blew open the game with a blistering 35-6 run over the next 11 and a half minutes. Frost scored 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting for Utah. Jacobson had 11 points.