GYMNASTICS » The Utes have made a conscious effort to improve team chemistry after last year’s ninth-place finish. So far, they say, so good. After a favorable draw at the NCAA Championships, we’ll see if the Red Rocks’ intangible improvements pay off this week in Birmingham. First they’ll try to beat three out of No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Florida, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 10 UCLA and No. 12 Penn State to reach the Super Six and have a puncher’s chance at their 11th national championship.
ON DECK: NCAA Championships, Thursday through Saturday, Birmingham, Ala.
FOOTBALL » It’s been a tough spring for Utah’s linebackers, with Jacoby Hale tearing his ACL and then, Tuesday, Gionni Paul breaking his foot on a seemingly innocuous play. Still, Utah’s defense held its own in the second spring scrimmage, and sophomore Marcus Sanders-Williams went from competing for carries Tuesday with running backs Bubba Poole, Devontae Booker and Troy McCormick to wrapping them up as a first-string middle linebacker Saturday.
ON DECK: Days 13-15 (Tuesday and Thursday 3-5 p.m., either at the practice field or Rice-Eccles Stadium. Saturday’s Spring Game starts 1 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Inclement weather may lead team to practice inside. Public may view outdoor practices.)
MEN’S BASKETBALL » Utah freshman small forward Ahmad Fields told The Tribune on Monday that he would transfer to another program nearer to his home in Washington, D.C. Fields’ decision was seemingly the result of a glut of Utah small forwards between Jordan Loveridge, Kyle Kuzma and Brekkot Chapman. Fields played sparingly, but per minute played, he led the team in points and rebounds, according to an analysis from Light The U.
ON DECK: Season over
BASEBALL » The Pingin’ Utes (11-21,2-12 Pac-12) split a pair of thrillers with the host Trojans on Friday and Saturday, first winning 3-2 in 13 innings on a Konnor Armijo RBI single and then losing in the bottom of the ninth after a USC sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. Sunday, the home team took the rubber match, 13-2. Ranked No. 23, the inbound Bruins nonetheless entered Sunday’s game against Arizona as losers of six of their last nine.
ON DECK: vs. UCLA (5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon Saturday at Smith’s Ballpark)
SOFTBALL » Weber State was little match for the Utes (16-19, 3-12 Pac-12), falling 18-6 in a midweek doubleheader, but No. 11 Arizona State was a different story. The Sun Devils held the Utes to just eight runs in a three-game sweep in Tempe, although junior right fielder Marissa Mendenhall finished the series 4-10 with two homers and four RBIs.
ON DECK: at Utah Valley (doubleheader Monday at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., in Orem), vs. Stanford (3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon Saturday)
MEN’S TENNIS » Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Slim Hanza upset the nation’s seventh-ranked player in Raymond Sarmiento on Sunday, but No. 2 USC nonetheless prevailed 4-1 over the host Utes (14-7, 2-4 Pac-12). Utah was also shut out 4-0 by No. 3 UCLA on Friday, and next will end its regular season against Arizona.
ON DECK: at Arizona (Friday in Tucson)
WOMEN’S TENNIS » The Utes fell 4-0 to Washington on the road, dropping its seventh-straight Pac-12 matchup — although it’s worth mentioning that all seven teams are among the nation’s top 50 and four were in the top 16 when they played the Utes.
ON DECK: vs. Colorado (11 a.m. Saturday)
GOLF » With just a week left in the regular season, the Utes scored their best finish in Scottsdale, Ariz., last Monday and Tuesday. As a team they took fourth, with Ben Bankhead, Daniel Engle and Jonathon Thomas tying for 17th at +2.
ON DECK: Ogio Santa Barbara Intercollegiate (Monday and Tuesday in Santa Barbara, Calif.)
WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD » The Utes won their home meet, the Utah Spring Classic, on Friday and then Saturday had a "terrific day" according to head coach Kyle Kepler at the Weber State Invitational. Click here for Friday’s results and here for a photo gallery.
ON DECK: Beach Invitational (Friday and Saturday in Norwalk, Calif.), Mark Faldmo Invitational (Friday and Saturday in Logan), Mt. Sac Relays (Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles)
VOLLEYBALL » The Utes went 8-0 to win the Utah Valley Spring Invitational on Saturday, beating Utah State in the championship.
ON DECK: Spring season over.
WOMEN’S SOCCER » Results were not immediately available from Utah’s exhibition matches against Utah Valley and BYU on Sunday.
ON DECK: vs. Denver (10 p.m. Saturday in Grand Junction, Colo.)
Results available at utahutes.com.
— Matthew Piper
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