Usually, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak isn't one to look into the future, or to try and predict how anything beyond the next game will turn out.
So when he makes a bold statement - or prediction, if you will - it's best to listen.
For the Utah media, such a moment came on Sunday night, right after the Utes defeated Arizona State 86-63 at the Huntsman Center.
The question came from yours truly, and it was innocent enough.
Can you guys make the NCAA Tournament?
His answer? "We plan on winning the Pac-12 tournament, and not worrying about the Selection Committee."
That's pretty bold.
Now. Should Utah not win the conference tournament, the Utes will probably need to win two of their next three and advance to the semifinals to have a chance at an at-large berth. The NCAA Tournament bubble is soft right now, and there are opportunities for the Utes to play themselves into the conversation.
Sunday was a good start, a quality win over a quality opponent, who seems to be a tournament lock at this point.
But there's still a lot of work to be done. Colorado comes in on Saturday, and the Buffaloes are as physical a team the Utes have dealt with all season. CU defeated Utah in overtime three weeks ago.
Then there's the bay area road trip, at California and Stanford. Both of those teams would be in the field of 68 as of today. So there are quality opponents on tap, and there are difficult matchups to navigate.
But you have to start somewhere. And Larry Krystkowiak started with his bold proclamation.
|1.||MLB: Angels’ Richards out for season with knee injury|
|2.||Utah officer who shot Dillon Taylor was wearing a body camera|
|3.||Utah protesters demand justice for Dillon Taylor, others killed by police|
|4.||BYUtv meets TV critics, and gay question arises|
|5.||Mitt Romney accepts Ice Bucket Challenge from Utahn with ALS|
|6.||Kirby: Scary times in Mormon seminary|
|7.||Why the Emmy Awards don’t play well on TV|
|8.||Ex-student arrested for bomb threats at Utah County high school|
|9.||Lucky magazine’s fall fashion tips: Santa Fe look, hiking boots|
|10.||Rolly: Forget guv race, Lockhart wants to be state schools boss|