Around Monday afternoon, Larry Krystkowiak knew his boys had a chance.
His Utah team had completed its second straight practice in which the intensity was high, the spirits were high and the execution was as good as it's been all season.
Of course, Boise State was coming into the Huntsman Center. And Rick Majerus had just passed away. There was a lot going on within the program.
But Krystkowiak was confident and so were his players. Yes, the Broncos were a very good team. But the Utes had something to prove.
"I talked to all of the players about what it meant to play for coach Majerus and what he meant to the program," Krystkowiak said. "The guys wanted to come out and play well."
Utah played its best al-around game of the season against Boise State, dominating all facets and never letting the Broncos get the sense that they could rally.
Krystkowiak called the night special. And for one night, his Utes looked like the kind of team Majerus routinely put onto the floor during the glory years of the late 1990's.
"Coach Majerus is a legend here," Krystkowiak said. "Before the game we talked about it and I think it just sparked all of us. You could just feel the energy come in and take over and we just rode it."