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Hoop coaches are the undercard in Wyoming

Some people might be paying more attention to the un-dercard Thursday night in Laramie, where the Utah and Wyoming basketball teams meet.

That would be Rick Majerus vs. Larry Shyatt.For those who may have forgotten, the two coaches had a little tiff last month when the Utes and Cowboys played in Salt Lake. Majerus took exception to some comments by Shyatt in a midcourt conference with officials and then tried to go after the Wyoming coach before being restrained.

But apparently those sometimes-crazy Cowboy fans aren't the ones who are taking notice of the coaches as Thursday's game ap-proaches.

According to Wyoming media relations director Kevin McKinney, there hasn't been much talk in Wyoming about the Jan. 17 incident. He said one of the main reasons is that the game wasn't televised in Wyoming and no tape of the disagreement was ever shown on TV. Another reason could be that the Wyoming coach admits he was the instigator.

In a Tuesday conference call, Shyatt took responsibility for the midcourt blowup, saying, "I was personally at fault. I did not feel good about that as a coach. Some people make errors and we've moved on since then. I apologized and tried to handle that as best as I could."

Majerus is apparently not holding any grudges. When asked about it earlier this week, he called it "not a big deal" and tried to change the subject.

"He hasn't scored any baskets for his team and I haven't scored any baskets for my team," said Majerus. "I'm more concerned about the health of my players."

The two coaches, who have known each other for more than 15 years, acknowledged that Shyatt phoned Majerus on Sunday morning after the game. But neither divulged what was said other than that Shyatt apologized. And they haven't spoken since.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Tina Turner has never been to a Utah women's basketball game. Yet the Murray woman is on a one-person crusade to fill up the Huntsman Center Saturday afternoon when the Ute women face Colorado State in their home season finale.

Turner was disturbed by a Deseret News article three weeks ago that questioned why more fans weren't supporting a nationally ranked, unbeaten women's basketball team.

"I just took it for granted that people went to games," said the mother of three, who hasn't been to a women's basketball game since high school.

She contacted the U. and has been working in conjunction with assistant director of marketing and promotions Tamra Mander to help promote the game.

"I just want the girls to have a lot of fans screaming for them in their final game," said Turner, who has personally distributed more than 2,000 tickets, more than the average attendance at women's games this year.

Tickets to Saturday's game (3 p.m.) are free and can be picked up at several locations including Smith's Video, Arctic Circle, Phillips 66, and Voicestream.

HIGH HOPES: Despite their late-season slide, which saw them drop three straight road games, the Ute women can still finish first in their division. They need to defeat Wyoming Thursday night at home and if they beat Colorado State, which is a game ahead in the standings, they'll have a sweep over the Rams. Then all the Utes would have to do is beat lowly Air Force and UNLV the following week on the road to clinch the No. 1 seed in the WAC tournament.