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Tommy Connor’s dream about Larry Krystkowiak's ejection in Utes' NIT win comes true

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak wasn’t around to see the end of the Utes 69-59 victory over UC Davis Wednesday night at the Huntsman Center, which wasn’t a big surprise to Ute associate head coach Tommy Connor.

That’s because Connor had a dream the night before that Krystkowiak was going to be ejected from the game. Which indeed Krystkowiak happened, with 5:07 left in the first half.

“I actually had a dream about it last night,” Connor said in the postgame press conference that Krystkowiak wasn’t allowed to attend because he’d been ejected.

“This is no lie, I had a weird dream that Coach got ejected,” Connor said. “I didn’t see myself coaching and winning the game, just that he got ejected. It was kind of strange.”

Connor, who has been Krystkowiak’s top assistant for the past seven years after being the head coach at Westminster College for many years, considered telling the head coach about his strange dream.

“I about told Larry before the start of the game, but I didn’t want to get him too fired up,” he said.

Krystkowiak got plenty fired up after his team got off to a sluggish start and was trailing 22-17 midway through the second quarter. Krystkowiak went berserk after a call that awarded the ball to UC Davis on an out-of-bounds play after Ute center David Collette was seemingly fouled by an Aggie player.

The Ute crowd erupted after no foul was called and an enraged Krystkowiak chased down official Bob Staffen about 30 feet out on the floor. He got a quick technical and after he continued to argue, he was whistled with another for an automatic ejection.

When asked if he thought his team might not be able to calm down after Kystkowiak’s histrionics, Connor said, “It fired ‘em up. I wasn’t about to calm them down.”

Soon after the four technical free throws, the Aggies stretched their lead to 11 points, but the Utes closed the gap to four by halftime and took over in the fourth quarter behind Justin Bibbins.

So where did Krystkowiak go after being ejected? Many years ago, Utah coach Rick Majerus went on a drive after being ejected in the first half and returned after the game. But Connor said he hadn’t seen his coach since he walked up the tunnel about 90 minutes earlier.

“I have no idea,” Connor said. “I’m pretty sure he’s in his office. I think he was lying down and watching it and hoping we got the W.”

Soon after he said that, who should pop his head in the interview room, but Krystkowiak, who said “Is there anything else?” because he wanted Connor to join him in the locker room to talk to his players.

When a reporter asked who would be coaching Monday, Krystkowiak answered, “We’ll see how the refereeing is.”