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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah Basketball - Not expecting the unexpected

When the college basketball schedule surfaced a few months ago for Utah, the Utes rightfully took a ton of grief for the softness of the non-conference schedule.

National magazines all but labeled it a joke. Local press railed on it, saying it was built for wins.

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And it was true at the time. But times have changed for the more difficult, even if only slightly so.

Want proof? Check it out.

Sacramento State, who defeated the Utes in embarrassing fashion a few weeks ago, is 5-1.

SMU, thought to be starting over with Larry Brown, is 7-1 and looking way more athletic than they should for a rebuilding job.

BYU is BYU. The Cougars are always going to be a difficult matchup under Dave Rose.

Finally, and most noticiably, Boise State is a factor. The Broncos just went on the road and defeated Creighton, the No. 11 team in the country.

Heck, even Texas State is decent. At least that's what Larry Brown told this blog on Thursday.

"Everyone killed us for our schedule," Larry Krystkowiak said. "But it's a lot tougher than people thought."

What does it mean? Well, it means little except Utah will unexpectedly have a chance for a few good wins before the Pac-12 schedule starts. At the very least, the competition will prepare Utah for what's to come.

The Utes get Boise State and BYU next week. And those will for sure be two dificult tests.

Tony Jones



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