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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 - Krystkowiak makes his bold proclamation

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.

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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.

Tony Jones

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