As if the big BYU-Utah football game were not enough, the still-undefeated men’s hoops team knocked off #6 Louisville last night in Las Vegas and will play #1 North Carolina tonight in the finals of the Las Vegas Invitational. Days like today are a BYU sports fan’s dream come true. The only question this morning is whether it will be a good dream or not by the end of the day…
Nothing would spoil the day like a home football loss to the Utes. BYU football is sporting a shiny new top 25 ranking this week (coming in at #23 in both polls) after knocking off Wyoming last week for the team’s seventh straight win in a row. Utah also comes in to today’s match up with a seven straight win streak and is looking to exact a little revenge for the last second Beck-to-Harline touchdown that gave BYU the win last year in SLC. The pundits agree that the teams are quite evenly matched this year so the game at noon MST in Provo is shaping up to be a good one. As a BYU fan, I’m betting on the home field advantage and the Cougs’ senior leadership on the defense and offensive line to make the difference in a win for the home team. But a victory won’t be easy for the guys in blue so stay tuned.
The currently unranked men’s basketball team is looking very much like a top 25 team right now as well with more talent on the team and confidence on the floor than I ever remember seeing in a BYU basketball team. The team remains undefeated after the big win last night which was available via some pretty nice coverage on BYUTV for once. The production quality of the broadcast was actually pretty impressive when compared to the quality of the average “mtn.” broadcast (so I’m told). The announcers did a nice job overall but it did get a little irritating when the play-by-play guy kept talking about BYU still “hanging around” in the game even when the Cougs were up by like 10 points. Oh well, I guess he was playing up the underdog role or something. Anyway, BYU should have won the game by 10-20 points instead of by 2 in my estimation. The Cougs missed way too many open threes and layups as the poor shooting percentage in the first half showed (BYU shot 39% in the first half to the 70% of Louisville and still took a 4-point lead into halftime). Seemed like the BYU players were a little amped up in general in the game so that might explain the multitude of shots hitting back iron… Well, that is with the exception of sophomore Jonathan Tavern who looked as calm as a summer’s breeze as he put on a show for the 40 NBA scouts in the crowd. Tavernari lit up Louisville with 29 points and was complemented nicely on the inside by a 21 point game from Trent Plaisted. The whole win was very impressive. The best sequence started with a poke-away steal by Tavernari that was grabbed by Murdoch (I think); Tavernari received the outlet pass down court and since he was being chased he dropped a behind-the-back pass to the trailing Plaisted who soared in for a ferocious tomahawk jam. I couldn’t believe that play didn’t make SportsCenter because it was sweet. (I’ll add it here if I find a video clip online).
Anyway, the football game is airing today at 2:00 EST on VS and CSTV (plus the “mtn.” for the three of you who get that) and the basketball game will air at 10:30 EST on ESPN2. GO COUGS!
In the meantime, here are some highlights from a few past football games for your viewing pleasure. The CSU game highlights are here (set to The Cult’s “Fire Woman” no less):
Here are some highlights of the second half of the EWU game that I don’t think I ever posted:
Post football game update — See this from the Daily Herald folks: