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Washington (17-14) vs. Utah (20-10)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 12, 3 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena (16,800) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Washington 14-4, Utah 18-2. Away Record: Washington 3-8, Utah 2-8. Neutral Record: Washington 0-2, Utah 0-0. Conference Record: Washington 9-9, Utah 9-9. Series Record: Washington leads, 8-7.

GAME NOTES: The 2014 Pac-12 Conference Tournament gets going on Wednesday when the ninth-seeded Washington Huskies challenge the eighth-seeded Utah Utes in the first round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Washington never really made much of a run in either direction this season, finishing an even 9-9 in league play and just 17-14 overall. The Huskies did win three of their final four games of the regular season, however, and have made it to at least the second round in three of the last four Pac-12 tournaments.

Utah was one of the most polarizing teams in the country this season. When the Utes were at home they could not be stopped, going 18-2 as the hosts. However, the tables turned on the road where they were just 2-8. Still, the team's 20-10 overall mark is the best of its three years in the conference. Utah made a surprising run a year ago when they upset USC and California before bowing to eventual champion Oregon in the semifinals.

These teams split the season series this year, with Washington notching a 59-57 victory at home and Utah getting payback with a 78-69 triumph when it was the host. The Huskies hold a slim 8-7 edge in the all-time series.

The winner of this matchup faces a real challenge in the next round when it challenges No. 1 seed and regular-season champion Arizona.

Led by 24 points from C.J. Wilcox, the Huskies were able to end the regular season on a high note by defeating USC, 82-75. Washington only connected on 39.1 percent of its field goal attempts in the victory, but it owned scoring advantages off turnovers (20-16) and in second-chance points (20-15) over the Trojans, who only hit 40.3 percent from the field themselves.

Wilcox (18.5 ppg) is one of the best pure scorers in the Pac-12, ranking fourth in the league in points per game, while sinking a career-best 46 percent from the floor, including 39.6 percent from 3-point range. He was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team for his performance this year. Also picking up all-league honors for the Huskies was point guard Nigel Williams- Goss (13.3 ppg, 4.4 apg), who was named to the All-Freshman squad. Andrew Andrews (12.6 ppg) and Perris Blackwell (10.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg) weren't named to any all-league teams, but are important contributors just the same.

A free-throw from Stanford's Dwight Powell with 36 seconds to play doomed Utah to a 61-60 loss on the road in the regular-season finale. The Utes did sink 54.5 percent from the floor, but they turned the ball over 17 times and were doubled-up in offensive rebounds (16-8), leading to a 20-9 deficit in second- chance points.

Utah rarely ever has an off night in terms of shooting the ball. The Utes are sinking the fourth-best percentage from the field in the country (.497), leading to a respectable 77.2 ppg scoring average. Making the extra pass on offensive possessions is the key, as the Utes rank 18th in assists (15.8 apg). Versatile swingman Delon Wright (16.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.6 spg) stuffs the stat sheet and earned All-Pac-12 First-Team honors for his work. In support, Jordan Loveridge (15.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is a solid forward who can spread the floor.

Although Utah struggles away from home, the Utes won't be in an entirely hostile environment. That should help them maintain their efficiency on offense and push them forward.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah 77, Washington 71

03/12 10:39:20 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI