Utah Utes: Controversy In My Mind

Andrew PerkinsCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2009

It's that time of the year again.

Everyone and their mother's tax analyst is putting together some sort of NCAA Tournament bracket by whatever logic they insist on using.

And the word "bracketology" will soon become one of the most overused and misused words in the history of the English language.

For the record, I hate that word. With the passion of a thousand fiery suns. 

But I digress.

'Tis the season of speculation and argument. Does the SEC deserve to get more than a couple teams in? How many teams will get in from the hotly-contested Mountain West?  Will the whole Big East get in?

Too many questions. Not enough time.

But, being in Mountain West territory, one team with a whole lot of contradictions stands out in my mind.

The Utah Utes, currently sitting atop the Mountain West standings, have lost to a Division II team in Southwest Baptist, and they also have tanked against the Idaho State Bengals, who tip the scales with an RPI of 205.

The same Utah Utes that are sitting pretty at 11 in the RPI and, as of right now, hold destiny and a conference championship in their sweaty palms.

However, the Utes' best road win thus far is at Wyoming, who is a tepid 12-10.

Nonetheless, those same Utes have taken out Gonzaga, LSU, BYU, New Mexico and San Diego State. Those are solid teams, regardless of where you play them.

In addition, center Luke Nevill is one of the most underrated big men in college basketball. He's a presence on both ends of the floor, registering 17.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, and 2.6 bpg. 

He opens the floor for wingmen Lawrence Borha and Shaun Green to do serious damage.

There are no doubts in my mind this team is solid. I've seen them play, and they are legit. 

But, in the back of my mind, I cannot forget what has gone down.

I can't forget SW Baptist. I can't forget Idaho State. I can't accept road wins against UC-Irvine and Air Force.

I can't raise up the Utah Utes and call them the 11th best team in the country. I can't do it.

And so I will wait.

A week of reckoning awaits the Utes. A three game stretch that starts against UNLV and ends on the road at BYU and New Mexico will make up my mind.

And then I'll have peace of mind.