BLOOMINGTON, Indiana. — First round tournament action on Sunday after the first half was a decisive UCLA 38 to BYU’s 27. Punctuating the ‘W’ for UCLA was a 73-point final score to BYU’s 62. Thus, both men’s Utah teams’ seasons are over.
It was the 11th-ranked UCLA Bruins, with a 18-9 record for the season, against the 6th ranked BYU Cougars, with a 20-6 record for the season, bracketed up in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) East quadrant. Seven players on the BYU roster are natives of Northern Utah, with the farthest teammate’s hometown in Nigeria, followed in distance-from-home by BYU’s center forward, Matt Haarms, from The Netherlands, according to the BYU Cougars website.
Saturday night, the only other team from Utah, 11th ranked Utah State Aggies, 20-10 for the season, lost to the 6th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders, 19-10 for the season, with a final score of 53 to 65. In the NCAA South bracket quadrant, Utah State’s center, Trevor Dorius, a graduate of Wasatch High School in Heber City, UT, is one of three Utahns on the team.
All the men’s games are being played in Bloomington, Indiana in what NCAA representatives are referring to as a broader-based “controlled environment” rather than the more stringent “bubble” in which the National Basketball Association (NBA) successfully brought its 2021 season to completion.
The NCAA tournament COVID protocols are allowing for limited in-person attendance. In a sign-of-the-times turn of events, Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) was unfortunately eliminated from the tournament on day one due to relatively recent positive COVID cases and as a result, Oregon advanced from that bracket. Games are being aired on CBS networks with the men’s National Championship game being played on April 5th.
For the Women’s 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship being contested solely in San Antonio, TX, Utah is represented by Utah Valley University, in their first NCAA tournament, which played Stanford last night. Stanford came away the vigorous victor eliminating the Wolverines from the tournament scoring 87 to Utah Valley’s 44. BYU takes on Rutgers on Monday to determine if the Cougars will remain as the last team in the state to advance to the next bracket. Women’s games are airing on ESPN with the final on April 4th. More information is available at NCAA.com.
COVID cancelled last year’s tournaments.