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Jazz Notes: NCAA match a must-watch for Borchardt

Published March 27, 2005 1:28 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While his teammates take today off, Curtis Borchardt is sneaking in one more basketball trip.

The Jazz center has an 8 a.m. flight today to Kansas City, where he will put on all his finest red-and-white Stanford gear and watch what he desperately hopes is not his wife's final college basketball game.

The top-ranked (but second-seeded) Cardinal, with Susan King Borchardt running the offense, meets defending national champion UConn tonight in the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Regional semifinal.

"I'm a little nervous," Borchardt said. "She's such an intense person, it doesn't affect her. I get nervous for her."

Borchardt probably won't get much time with his wife, particularly if the Cardinal win and advance to Tuesday's regional final. He knows not to interfere with her focus before the game - "she'll be busy enough getting ready for the game," he said - so Borchardt will just meet up with his wife's parents, brothers and other family members converging in Kansas City.

"I just want to be there for her," the 7-foot Borchardt said. "I'll be sitting in the stands. Maybe she'll see me. I'm kind of hard to miss."

It's only the third game that Borchardt has been able to watch during his wife's senior season at Stanford.

"If they lose, it will be that much sooner I get to see her out here, I suppose," said Borchardt, who will fly back to Salt Lake on Monday morning in time for the Jazz's 10 a.m. shootaround. "But I've waited three years, I can wait another couple of weeks."

Opportunity for Collins

The Jazz's other Stanford center, Jarron Collins, returned to his old team Saturday. But the Jazz have changed since Collins injured his shoulder four weeks ago.

With Andrei Kirilenko out for the season with a broken wrist, Collins knows he may get some playing time at Kirilenko's old forward spot. That doesn't bother him.

"I might have to play the four a little bit, but I can embrace that," said Collins, who swapped his spot on the injured list with Kirilenko before Saturday's game. "I'm ready for whatever Coach needs me to do."

Coach Jerry Sloan needed him to start right away, so Collins was back in at center against the Bucks. He played eight minutes in the first half, didn't attempt a shot, and grabbed a couple of rebounds.

"It's good to get in there again," Collins said. "It's been frustrating to watch us lose these close games. We've been very competitive, but we just haven't made the plays we needed to at the end."

Handlogten may stay

Kirilenko's injury also likely had one other effect on the Jazz's roster: It probably insured Ben Handlogten's roster spot for the season's final month. The center's second 10-day contract expires Monday, but with Carlos Boozer's return uncertain, the Jazz have room on the roster for Handlogten.

pmiller@sltrib.com