Oregon native Tim Frost had nine points and seven rebounds against the Ducks on Friday.
March 22, 2003
March 23 * 6:10 p.m. (CST) * Gaylord Entertainment Center (17,413) * Nashville, Tenn.
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Kentucky Head Coach: Tubby Smith Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: High Point (N.C.), 1973 Record at Utah: 308-89/14th Season Record at Kentucky: 162-46/6th Season Career Record: 407-141/19th Season Career Record: 286-108/12th Season
Television: CBS Also shown on pay-per-view by DIRECTV Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Billy Packer (analyst) and Bonnie Bernstein (reporter).
Radio: 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)
Series Record: Kentucky leads 7-2 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 0-0/1-2/1-5 Last Meeting: Utah lost to Kentucky 56-48 on Nov. 19, 1999 in Lexington, Ky.
Should the No. 9 seeded Runnin' Utes defeat No. 1 Kentucky on Sunday in the second round, they will advance to the NCAA Midwest Regionals next Thursday and Saturday (March 27 & 29) at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes are 25-7 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 entering the NCAAs. Utah, seeded No. 9 in the Midwest Region, opened NCAA Tournament play with a 60-58 win over No. 8-seeded Oregon on Friday in Nashville, Tenn.
Utah was ranked 17th in the NCAA in scoring defense and 38th in three-point percentage as of March 18, and is currently giving up 59.9 points per game while hitting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. Utah has gone 15-1 at home this season, 7-4 on the road and 3-2 on neutral courts.
Three Utes are averaging double figures in points. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) leads the way in scoring (13.3 ppg) and is shooting 42.4 percent from three-point range (78-for-184) and a team-best 83.5 percent from the free throw line. Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is second in scoring (13.0 ppg), shooting a team-best 48.9 percent from the field, and is second in rebounding (4.8 rpg). Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210), who has sat out the postseason 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 (8.9 ppg), shooting 45.3 percent from three-point range.
Johnsen Out For NCAA Tournament
Utah senior forward Britton Johnsen, diagnosed on March 10 with infectious mononucleosis, has been ruled out for the NCAA Tournament following a reevaluation by team physician Dr. Dave Petron on Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City. Johnsen did not accompany the team to the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas last week and has missed the last three games due to his illness.
Johnsen's enlarged spleen was slightly reduced in size when he was examined on Monday, almost a week after his condition was originally diagnosed. He was also no longer suffering from a fever or swelling in his throat, and his energy level was much improved, leaving open the possibility that he could play this weekend. However, when Petron performed an ultrasound on Johnsen's spleen Wednesday, there was no further improvement.
NCAA Tournament First & Second Rounds at Nashville, Tenn.
First Round - Friday (March 21) Midwest Region Game 1 - (No. 1) Kentucky 95, (No. 16) IUPUI 64 Game 2 - (No. 9) Utah 60, (No. 8) Oregon 58
South Region Game 3 - (No. 3) Xavier 71, (No. 14) Troy State 59 Game 4 - (No. 6) Maryland 75, (No. 11) UNC Wilmington 73
Second Round - Sunday (March 23) Game 5 - Xavier (26-5) vs. Maryland (20-9), 3:40 p.m. (CST) Game 6 - Kentucky (30-3) vs. Utah (25-7), 30 minutes after
The Wildcats, seeded No. 1 in the Midwest Region, are 30-3 overall and placed first in the Southeastern Conference with a 16-0 conference record. The Wildcats, in the midst of a 24-game winning streak, defeated 16th-seeded IUPUI 95-64 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Last week, Kentucky claimed the SEC Tournament title, defeating Vanderbilt (81-63) in the quarterfinals, Auburn (78-58) in the semifinals, and Mississippi State (64-57) in the championship game. Kentucky is 8-1 in games played on a neutral court this season.
Head coach Tubby Smith was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year. Smith led the Wildcats to their 42nd SEC championship. In six seasons as coach of the Wildcats, Smith has compiled a 162-46 (.779) record.
Senior guard Keith Bogans (6-5, 213), who was named the SEC Player of the Year, leads Kentucky in scoring (15.9 ppg), steals (38), and assists (2.9 apg). He is shooting 38.1 percent from the three-point-line and 46.3 percent from the field. Freshman Marquis Estill (6-9, 236), a second-team all-conference pick, is third on the team in scoring (11.0 pg) and second in rebounds (5.9 rpg).
In the NCAA statistics released on March 18, Kentucky ranked 32nd in the NCAA in scoring offense (77.5 ppg), seventh in scoring margin (+13.4 ppg), 10th in field goal percentage (48.7), 21st in rebound margin (+5.9 rpg) and 25th in blocked shots (5.1 bpg).
Kentucky is making its 44th tournament appearance, an NCAA record. The Wildcats 90 tournament wins and 128 games played are both tournament records. They rank second all-time in NCAA championships, with seven.
Utah-Kentucky Series Notes
* Kentucky leads the all-time series with Utah 7-2, winning five in a row. The Wildcats won the last meeting 56-48 on Nov. 19, 1999 in the second round of the Preseason NIT in Lexington, Ky.
* The Wildcats have a 5-1 edge in games played on neutral courts. Utah is 0-4 against UK in the NCAA Tournament and 1-1 in the NIT, defeating the Wildcats 49-45 in New York to capture the 1947 NIT Championship.
* Utah has been knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Kentucky four times since 1993. The Wildcats defeated the Utes in the second round in 1993 (83-62), in the regional semifinals in 1996 (101-70), the regional finals in 1997 (72-59) and the national title game in 1998 (78-69).
Utah Against Ranked Teams
The Utes will be facing the top ranked team in the country on Sunday when it faces Kentucky. The Wildcats are No. in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls released on Sunday.
* Utah defeated Alabama, then ranked No.1 by the Associated Press and No. 3 by ESPN/USA Today, 51-49 on Dec. 30 in the Huntsman Center. The Utes had unseated a top-ranked team once before under Rick Majerus, defeating North Carolina 65-59 on March 28, 1998 in the national semifinals at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
* Utah is 1-1 against ranked teams this season, falling to No. 20 Gonzaga 71-52 on Nov. 25 in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
NCAA First Round Rewind
Nick Jacobson scored 23 points and hit two of three free throws with 14.4 seconds left as the ninth-seeded Utes overcame their worst shooting performance of the season to beat Oregon 60-58 Friday in the Midwest Regional in Nashville, Tenn.
Despite playing without its second-leading scorer, Britton Johnsen, who has been sidelined the last three games by an enlarged spleen from mononucleosis, Utah (25-7) won for the ninth time in 10 first-round games under Rick Majerus.
Luke Ridnour, the Pac-10 player of the year, had one of his worst games of the season. Ridnour missed eight of his first nine shots and finished just 3-of-13 for 13 points after having only four points at halftime. The Utes won despite missing their first nine shots and hitting just 29.5 percent (18-of-61) from the floor.
Marc Jackson had 13 points for Utah, getting all of them in the first half. Luke Jackson led Oregon with 14 points. Crosswhite finished with 11. The Ducks, who came in averaging 82 points per game, shot 19-of-55 from the floor (34.5 percent). Tim Frost, a native of Klamath Falls, Ore., scored nine points and grabbed seven boards in the Utes' win.
Utah fell behind 9-0, then rallied to take its first lead at 15-14 with 10:02 to play in the first half. The Utes lead by eight points in the first half and had a nine-point advantage three times in the second half, the last at 51-42 with 9:28 to play in the second half.
Ridnour tried to rally the Ducks, coming alive in the final 13:10. He put Oregon ahead 54-53 with a pair of free throws with 5:41 left, the Ducks' first lead since 16-15 midway through the first half.
The Ducks started slowing down Utah with a half-court trap, and the Utes lost Frost, Jackson and Cameron Koford to fouls. That forced Majerus to go deeper into his bench.
Jacobson hit a three, but Oregon tied the game at 58 on a free throw by Ian Crosswhite with 46.4 seconds to go. Jacobson won it at the line after being fouled by Ridnour on a three-point attempt.
The final shot was to go to Ridnour, but the Utes collapsed on him, forcing him to pass to Davis, who had good looks on two three-pointers as time expired.
Notables From Oregon Game * Nick Jacobson tied a season high with 23 points. He also tied a career-best with 16 field goal attempts. Jacobson reached 20 points for the fifth time this season and ninth time in his career. He hit double figures for the 24th time this season and the fourth game in a row. It was also the fourth time he made at least five three-pointers in a game this season.
* Marc Jackson reached double figures for the 12th time this season with 13 points.
* Tim Frost had seven rebounds to get at least five for the 17th time this season.
* Bryant Markson had career highs of seven rebounds and three steals.
Jacobson Moving Up The Season And Career Charts
With his numbers this season, Nick Jacobson ranks first in both three-pointers made (78) and attempted (184) 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 had 160 attempts in 2001-02, which now ranks fourth all-time.
Jacobson has already climbed into second place in both career three-pointers made (186) and attempted (441) at Utah. His career three-point percentage of 42.2 entering the Kentucky game 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 1,059 points in his career to rank 27th. With his 23 points against Oregon on Friday, he passed teammate Britton Johnsen (1,051 points).
Inside the Numbers
* In 12 of the 25 wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 46.7 to 40.1 percent in their wins. In their seven losses, the Utes have been outshot 45.0 to 40.3 percent.
* The Utes have been even with or had the advantage over their opponents on the boards in 19 of the 25 wins. In their wins, the Utes have outrebounded the opponents by an average of 33.9 to 29.8. Utah had a season-best +16 advantage in its wins over Pepperdine (48-32) on Dec. 20 and Air Force (36-20) on Feb. 1. In four of the seven losses, Utah has been outrebounded. It's average rebounding deficit in losses is 33.6 to 31.9.
* Utah has gone 23-1 when leading with 5:00 remaining in the second half this season. The only time the Utes relinquished a lead at that stage in the game was against Colorado State on March 6. The Utes are also 21-0 when leading at halftime, 3-5 when trailing at the half and 4-7 when trailing or tied after 20 minutes. Utah came back from halftime deficits to defeat UNLV on Jan. 20, Colorado State on Feb. 8 and Air Force on March 13. The Utes won their only two games when trailing with 5:00 remaining against Air Force on Feb. 1 and March 13.
* The Utes have had the advantage at the free throw line in their 25 wins, making 506 trips to the line compared to 461 for the opponents and shooting 72.5 to 68.3 percent. In the seven losses, the opposite has been the case with the opponents outshooting Utah at the free throw line 229 attempts to 98, and making 160 (69.9 percent) to 62 (63.3 percent). In the Utes' loss at New Mexico on March 1, the Lobos went 40-of-53 at the free throw line. Utah is 17-1 when it has had as many or more free throw attempts than its opponents this season.
From Beyond The Arc
Utah is shooting 38.3 percent from three-point range and ranked 38th in the NCAA as of March 18. The Utes have hit at least 40 percent of their long-range shots 16 times and 50 percent or better on seven occasions. Utah is 14-2 when shooting at least 40 percent from three-point land this season.
* Utah has had a season-best effort of 57.1 percent from three-point range three times this season, including twice in the last three games entering the NCAA Tournament. The Utes shot 57.1 percent against Air Force (4-of-7) in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals on March 13, Wyoming (8-of-14) on Feb. 10 in Salt Lake City, and Winthrop (8-of-14) on Dec. 3 at home.
* The Utes have hit 50.0 percent from long range three times, making 4-of-8 against Air Force on March 3, 12-of-24 against New Mexico on Feb. 3 and 5-of-10 against Massachusetts on Nov. 26 in the Maui Invitational.
* The Utes shot 80.0 percent (8-of-10) from three-point range in the first half against IPFW, which was the fourth-best mark for a half in school history. Utah's 14 three-pointers made in the entire game tied the second-best effort all-time at the U. The Utes shot 56.0 percent from three-point range in 25 attempts.
* Utah has recorded two of the top three single-game marks for three-point attempts in school history this season. The Utes put up 40 treys at New Mexico on March 3, topping the former record of 34 against San Diego State on Jan. 16, 1999. Utah also had 32 three-point attempts against Northern Iowa on Dec. 14 to notch the third-best mark in school history.
One of the trademarks of a Utah team during the Rick Majerus era is a stifling half-court defense. Since 1989-90, Utah has ranked in the top 30 in the nation 10 times in scoring defense, nine times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.
* This season, Utah ranked 17th in the NCAA in scoring defense as of March 18 and is currently giving up 60.7 points per game.
* The Utes have held 18 teams under 60 points this season and five teams under 50 points.
* Fourteen opponents have shot under 40 percent from the field this season. The only team to defeat Utah when shooting under 40 percent is New Mexico on March 1 when the Lobos shot 38.1 percent. However, the Lobos made 40-of-53 free throws.
* UNLV on March 14 (52.2), Air Force on March 3 (52.9) and Colorado State on Feb. 8 (50.0) are the only teams to shoot 50 percent or better from the field on Utah in 2002-03. The Utes' only loss in those three games was to UNLV, 64-41.
* Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 94 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88-61) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.
Knockin' Them Down From The Line
In its last eight regular-season games, Utah shot 85.4 percent from the free throw line, going 134-of-157. As a result, Utah improved from a rough start at the charity stripe to 71.7 percent through 29 regular-season games and shot 75.5 percent in Mountain West Conference play.
* Utah took a step back in that department in the Mountain West Conference Tournament, shooting below 60 percent in both games. In the two games, the Utes hit just 53.1 percent (17-of-32) of their free throws. Utah shot 56.0 percent from the line against Air Force (March 13) and 42.9 percent against UNLV (March 14).
* Utah bounced back from the stripe in its win over Oregon on Friday, shooting 83.3 percent (15-of-18). It was the eighth time this season-and the sixth time in the last 11 games-the Utes shot 80 percent or better from the line
* The Utes had a season-best effort (in games with over 10 attempts) from the free throw line to salt away their overtime win against UNLV on Feb. 17. Utah shot 92.3 percent, hitting 24-of-26. The Utes hit all 10 free throws in the overtime period and went 10-of-11 in the second half. As a result, Utah scored a season-high 86 points against the Rebels.
* In its next game on Feb. 24, Utah hit 92.0 percent from the line against BYU on Feb. 24. The Utes hit 23-of-25 free throws, including all eight in the last minute.
* After hitting 7-of-7 free throws against New Mexico, the Utes made 17-of-19 free throws at Air Force on March 3. In the final 3:44 versus the Falcons, the U. hit 12-of-13 at the line.