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Monson: Conclusion is not enough, but there are some lessons for Utah basketball



Okay, so Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak tore through a window when he told reporters in New York that he would rather win the NIT than do the NCAA tournament, "he said. that is much more important. "

And … blam-crash! … the glass broke

No one thinks that way, at least not before the NCAA tournament invitations are awarded It's something a coach says after his team leaves the main team Given the option of risking the outcome of the first round before the Selection Sunday, or risking a shot to go all the way in a secondary affair, any coach in America would take the former.

Krystkowiak , of course, knows this and knows that everyone else knows about it.

And finished as the runner-up in the NIT, like Utah on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, lost to Penn State, 82-66? Where does that stand? [Nobuenoitwouldhavebeenbettertodoeverythingintheone-and-donebigdancebigriskbigreward

Just south of this is the NIT final, but it's always still … something.

The Utes, which this season al Seventh in the Pac-1

2 scored third place and then struggled with relegation to the aforementioned secondary status in the NIT with admirable fighting and steadfastness. The team had to join Penn State after David Collete's injury and a defensive error 55 percent shoot, suffer. Utah could not slow the Nittany Lions enough to remain competitive in the second half.

The defeat was unfortunate for her but not devastating.

Their run to New York was double-barreled: it was a punctuation point for the 2017-18 season and it was a starting point ahead.

Despite the fact that Utah had important seniors on His team this season, his passage to the NIT championship game set a positive tone for what will come in the next season as junior Sedrick Barefield, who scored 22 points against Penn State scored, and other existing players, supported by promising newcomers, will together aim at something higher than what they've achieved this season.

That means an invitation to the tournament, which a national audience wants to worry about, claims to claim boastful rights, remembers it. 19659002] If that sounds harsh, ask yourself: who won the NIT last year? Who won the NIT the season before? And the previous season?

It turned out that it was TCU, George Washington and Stanford.

The reason why you can not remember these winners is that … no one but the teams themselves.

Still, value in what Utah achieved in his compromised postseason series, with wins over teams like Saint Mary's and Western Kentucky. As soon as Ute's earlier mistakes were caught, they caught up and fought on, defeating some good teams along the way. They caught a short positive mood and made some hay.

You are better than the 69th or 70th best team in the country, behind all the invitees in the NCAA field. Maybe they are the 50 best. And now they have a consolation second prize to remember, a certificate to push them to the better end of next season and the ensuing seasons. The NIT is not where they want to be.

It is as aggravating as satisfying.

The fans, some of whom showed up at the MSG, could enjoy it. It's like a Ute tweeter: "Not getting into the NCAA is disappointing, but I can still have a good time with the NIT." Somehow disappointed, my blind date is not Jessica Alba, but I still can have a good time with Jessica Biel. "

Not sure the date of the Utes in New York was like this.

For her, what happened was that it looked more like working up a strong thirst and then drinking stale soda, pop that was wet and cold but more than a bit flat. It might be surprising if certain lessons had been learned earlier, with more conviction and with more luck, how high they could have been.

But, still, these subclasses, these returnees, will go along with Krystkowiak drink this stale drink, use it as motivation, and along with the promise of newcomers who are still arriving in Utah, next time I find a colder one , cleaner, crispier refreshment that risks more and possibly at least the postseason gets more meaningful reward.

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" on weekdays from 3-7 pm to 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.


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