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Kurt Kragthorpe

Columnist, Sports

801-257-8716, kkragthorpe@sltrib.com


  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Brigham Young Cougars forward Eric Mika (12) during the game at the Marriott Center Thursday February 2, 2017. Kragthorpe: Eric Mika may have improved too quickly, for BYU’s sake
    If the legacy of BYU’s “Lone Peak Three” becomes a case of failing to live up to expectations, the irony will be that it happened mainly because Eric ...
    Updated Mar 23 2017 11:37 am   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Coaches, players and staff members of the Utah Jazz 1997 team are introduced to the fans during halftime of the Utah Jazz versus New Your Knicks at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City Wednesday March 22, 2017. Kragthorpe: Jazz’s 20-year reunion brings NBA Finals season to life
    John Stockton faked inside, then popped back and caught Bryon Russell’s pass. The Utah Jazz legend dribbled once and launched an unforgettable shot. ...
    Updated Mar 23 2017 10:28 am   |     |   Share

  • Michael Mangum  |  Special to the Tribune  Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar and midfielder Omar Holness react as they look for the referee to make a call during the second half of their MLS match against the San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Friday, July 22nd, 2016. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Kragthorpe: RSL makes Cassar latest casualty of following a great coach
    Real Salt Lake fired coach Jeff Cassar after studying him just long enough to determine that he’s not Jason Kreis. Monday’s dismissal makes Cassar th...
    Updated Mar 20 2017 10:28 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Utah’s MyKayla Skinner during her 9.70 beam routine. Utah outscored Stanford 197.500 to 196.275, Friday, March 3, 2017. Kragthorpe: Utes’ MyKayla Skinner deserved better treatment from Pac-12 gymnastics coaches
    The scene resembled the recent Academy Awards mix-up when the announcement came that someone other than the University of Utah’s MyKayla Skinner was n...
    Updated Mar 22 2017 05:27 pm   |     |   Share

  • Duke’s Frank Jackson (15) looks to pass as South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell (0) and Chris Silva (30) defend during the first half in a second-round game of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt) Kragthorpe: ACC replaces Pac-12 as NCAA Tournament's biggest disappointment
    Sixteen sweet, semi-sweet and bittersweet sentiments at this stage of the NCAA Tournament: 1. Sending only one of its nine teams beyond the opening w...
    Updated Mar 20 2017 12:07 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Arizona Wildcats guard Allonzo Trier (35) pushes around St. Mary’s Gaels guard Joe Rahon (25) in the NCAA tournament in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Kragthorpe: Arizona asserts itself as NCAA’s West bracket opens up
    Arizona and Saint Mary’s went back and forth as the second half unfolded Saturday night, suggesting their second-round game in the NCAA Tournament wou...
    Updated Mar 19 2017 09:27 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Northwestern Wildcats head coach Chris Collins speaks during a press conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena Friday March 17, 2017. Kragthorpe: Coaches Quin Snyder of Jazz, Chris Collins of Northwestern share special bond
    Chris Collins’ shot came from deep on the court, so close to the sideline that Quin Snyder thought the senior guard would fall into him on the Duke be...
    Updated Mar 17 2017 07:13 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Virginia Commonwealth Rams guard JeQuan Lewis (1) drives around St. Mary’s Gaels guard Joe Rahon (25) during the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 16, 2017. NCAA basketball: Saint Mary's survives rare close game to beat VCU
    VCU was known for winning close games this season. Saint Mary’s usually avoided tense moments, whether winning or losing. Yet when VCU made things int...
    Updated Mar 16 2017 09:06 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Northwestern fans cheer as their team beats Vanderbilt during the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Kragthorpe: Northwestern fans enjoy historic NCAA win
    Northwestern fans behaved all afternoon as if they never had watched their team play an NCAA Tournament game. Bryant McIntosh and his Wildcats teamma...
    Updated Mar 17 2017 07:51 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Texas-Arlington Mavericks guard Erick Neal (1) grabs Brigham Young Cougars guard TJ Haws (30) along with the ball, in NIT basketball action Brigham Young Cougars vs. Texas-Arlington Mavericks, at the Marriott Center, Wednesday, March 15, 2017.   Kragthorpe: BYU, Utah have to live with disappointing finishes
    The beauty of the NIT is the winners can feel good about themselves and the losers can rationalize that the tournament doesn’t really matter. Even so,...
    Updated Mar 16 2017 10:49 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Gonzaga Bulldogs center Przemek Karnowski (24) takes questions during the team’s press conference along with teammates Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) and Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jordan Mathews (4) at the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Kragthorpe: Would-be Utes thriving with Arizona, Gonzaga
    Find the flaw in this sentence: Instead of making their Salt Lake City basketball debuts Thursday in the NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena, A...
    Updated Mar 17 2017 07:52 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    The crowd reacts as Utah Jazz forward Joe Johnson (6) hits a 3-point-shot ti give the Jazz a 9 point lead with just seconds left in the game, in NBA action Utah Jazz vs. LA Clippers, in Salt Lake City, Monday, March 13, 2017. Kragthorpe: Jazz’s toughness surfaces in win over Clippers
    The music selection seemed out of character for a Jazz franchise that likes to comport itself humbly. As referees reviewed Rudy Gobert’s latest dust-u...
    Updated Mar 14 2017 04:14 pm   |     |   Share

  • Arizona’s Dusan Ristic celebrates as he cuts down a piece of a net after Arizona defeated Oregon 83-80 in an NCAA college basketball game for the championship of the Pac-12 men’s tournament Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) Kragthorpe: NCAA treats Pac-12 teams just right
    At this time, I wish to thank the NCAA basketball committee for preventing me from embarrassing myself this year. So far, anyway. When the committee ...
    Updated Mar 12 2017 09:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • North Dakota guard Corey Baldwin (1) and guard Cortez Seales (15) battle Weber State center Zach Braxton (44) for a rebound during the first half in an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Sky tournament in Reno. Nev., Saturday, March 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Lance Iversen) Weber State basketball: Wildcats blow late lead, miss NCAA bid
    Reno, Nev. • Reviewing a basketball season that will end somewhere other than the NCAA Tournament, Weber State coach Randy Rahe praised a team that “n...
    Updated Mar 12 2017 09:49 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah Valley guard Kenneth Ogbe (25) drives to the basket past Cal State Bakersfield guard Brent Wrapp (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Western Athletic Conference tournament Friday, March 10, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/L.E. Baskow) Kragthorpe: UVU’s misses best chance to win, long before 4 OTs
    Las Vegas • As the clock wound down in regulation and his team’s lead was dwindling Friday night, Utah Valley coach Mark Pope found himself wishing th...
    Updated Mar 11 2017 12:00 am   |     |   Share

  • UVU women's basketball: Wolverines' upset bid falls short in WAC semifinals
    Las Vegas • When guard Britta Hall’s go-ahead free throw somehow stayed in the basket with 21 seconds remaining, Utah Valley University positioned its...
    Updated Mar 10 2017 06:42 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah’s Devon Daniels, bottom, and California’s Sam Singer scramble for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 men’s tournament Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) Kragthorpe: Utes regress again, exiting Pac-12 tournament with loss to Cal
    Las Vegas Sedrick Barefield dribbled downcourt, giving Utah an opportunity to force overtime after the Utes trailed California by 11 points with bar...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 10:15 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah State’s Koby McEwen, of Canada, shoots as San Jose State’s Jaycee Hillsman, left, and Ryan Welage, right, defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Mountain West Conference tournament Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Las Vegas. Utah State defeated San Jose State 90-64. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken) Kragthorpe: Rejuvenated Koby McEwen gives Aggies a major boost
    Las Vegas Before launching the last shot of the first half, Utah State guard Koby McEwen had totaled two attempts and two points and the Aggies were...
    Updated Mar 20 2017 06:45 pm   |     |   Share

  • Gonzaga players celebrate after defeating Saint Mary’s in an NCAA college basketball game during the championship of the West Coast Conference tournament, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. Gonzaga won 74-56. (AP Photo/John Locher) Kragthorpe: Gonzaga should be coming to SLC as No. 1 seed
    Las Vegas Pieces of blue and red confetti intermittently fluttered from the Orleans Arena rafters to the court throughout Tuesday’s championship gam...
    Updated Mar 07 2017 10:40 pm   |     |   Share

  • Tabitha Sumsion  |  BYU Photo  Cassie Broadhead drives the ball in the Cougar’s 77-59 win over Westminster at the Marriott Center on November 2, 2016. BYU women’s basketball: Saint Mary’s stifles Cassie Broadhead in WCC semifinals
    Las Vegas • BYU exited the West Coast Conference women’s basketball tournament Monday, wishing junior guard Cassie Broadhead could have stayed on the ...
    Updated Mar 06 2017 07:50 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Zach Collins (32) guards Brigham Young Cougars forward Eric Mika (12) during the game at the Marriott Center Thursday February 2, 2017. Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated Brigham Young Cougars 85-75. Kragthorpe: BYU, Utah try to rise above 'best of rest' status in Las Vegas
    Las Vegas • The West Coast Conference features two outstanding men's basketball teams. BYU is No. 3. The Pac-12 Conference has three elite teams. Utah...
    Updated Mar 06 2017 12:10 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (10) fights off Toronto FC defender Steven Beitashour (33). Real Salt Lake tied the 2017 season home opener with Toronto FC, 0-0, Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kragthorpe: Goals remain elusive as RSL launches new season
    Sandy Kyle Beckerman’s perfectly chipped pass gave Joao Plata an opportunity to make Real Salt Lake’s 2017 opener much more memorable, but Plata’s s...
    Updated Mar 20 2017 05:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • Kragthorpe: Utes’ 1966 Final Four team to be honored Saturday
    In the movie about the famous 1966 NCAA Final Four, the only sighting of Utah is a shot of the banner listing the four semifinalists. That’s one reaso...
    Updated Mar 03 2017 12:19 pm   |     |   Share

  • Stockton Shorts, Copper Hills Kragthorpe: Catching up with Stockton Shorts and Matthew Van Komen in 5A boys’ hoops
    Stockton Malone Shorts’ name once made him a novelty. Two years later, his game is making him a star in Utah high school basketball, with Copper Hills...
    Updated Mar 01 2017 10:08 am   |     |   Share

  • BYU coach Dave Rose, center, celebrates with fans after BYU defeated No. 1 Gonzaga 79-71 in an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Kragthorpe: Upset of Gonzaga is good for BYU, great for Dave Rose
    Somehow, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are always there when BYU needs them. The Cougars’ latest visit to the McCarthey Athletic Center could not have been ti...
    Updated Mar 22 2017 11:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Brigham Young Cougars guard Makenzi Pulsipher (23) gets past Utah Utes forward Tanaeya Boclair (32), in Basketball action, Brigham Young Cougars vs. the Utah Utes, Saturday, December 10, 2016. Kragthorpe: BYU seniors come up big on Senior Day in win over Gonzaga
    Provo BYU senior guard Makenzi Pulsipher stole the ball in the backcourt, dribbled to her left, turned toward the basket and launched a jump shot. ...
    Updated Feb 25 2017 11:34 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Brothers Phil and Tom McCarthey, from left, great grandsons of Jenny Judge Kearns and Thomas Kearns pictured on the wall of the McCarthey Mansion in Salt Lake, will be hosting a journalism event with Bob Costas. Kragthorpe: Here’s the (latest) book on Gonzaga, BYU’s opponent tonight
    The Stocktons are less prominent than the McCartheys in "Glory Hounds," but Salt Lake City is well represented in a new book about Gonzaga University ...
    Updated Feb 25 2017 12:24 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     University of Utah athletic director Chris Hill looks through a yearbook from his time at Granger High School, Thursday, February 9, 2017. Early in his career, Hill spent four years at Granger High as a math teacher and basketball coach. Chris Hill’s path to University of Utah athletics director began with getting turned down for a job
    West Valley City • The students in Mr. Hill’s class understood they needed the math credit to graduate from Granger High School. Yet they wondered how...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 05:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah’s Sedrick Barefield, right, drives the baseline on Oregon State’s Kendal Manuel (24) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Corvallis, Ore., Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. Oregon State won 68-67 for their first win in a Pac-12 Conference game this year. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez) Kragthorpe: Utes’ worst loss in Krystkowiak era caps state’s bad weekend
    The state’s disastrous weekend of college basketball that ended Sunday night with Utah’s late meltdown at Oregon State started promisingly Saturday af...
    Updated Feb 20 2017 07:50 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    MyKayla Skinner reacts after her bars routine, for the Utes, in gymnastics action, Utah vs UCLA, at the Huntsman Center, Saturday, February 18, 2017. Kragthorpe: Utes’ MyKayla Skinner rises to Olympic level vs. UCLA
    University of Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner forever will be known as the sixth member of the Final Five. In Saturday night’s reunion with one of those ...
    Updated Mar 23 2017 09:52 pm   |     |   Share