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What the NET rankings tell us about the state of Utah college basketball right now

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Utah State guard Steven Ashworth, left, and Utah Tech guard Cameron Gooden chase the ball during the first half.

Utah State guard Steven Ashworth, left, and Utah Tech guard Cameron Gooden chase the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Logan.

Eli Lucero, The Herald Journal via Associated Press

Earlier this week, the NET rankings debuted for the 2022-23 college basketball season.

They provided a glimpse at how each of the seven Division I Utah schools stack up nationally a little over a month into the season.

What did they show?

They backed up the strong starts for Utah State and Utah, supporting the thought both traditionally strong programs will be in contention for the NCAA Tournament and even conference titles.

As for the rest, the state’s three Western Athletic Conference schools — Utah Valley, Utah Tech and Southern Utah — sit squarely in the middle of their conferences, while BYU and Weber State are having truly difficult seasons, and likely even more rough times ahead.

Here’s where each Utah program sits in the NET rankings heading into this weekend’s play, what their record is so far against opponents using the NCAA’s quadrant system and who each team plays in the coming weeks. 

Where do Utah schools rank in the latest NET rankings?

No. 17: Utah State (7-0)

  • 2-0 vs. Quad 2, 5-0 vs. Quad 3.
  • The Aggies are highest-ranked among Mountain West Conference teams, ahead of New Mexico (28), UNLV (38), Nevada (40), San Diego State (51) and Boise State (55).
  • Up next is Utah State’s fourth matchup against a WCC opponent, No. 89 Loyola Marymount, in Las Vegas this Saturday, and the Aggies will play at the Diamond Head Classic the week of Christmas in a field that includes Seattle (71), their first-round matchup, Iona (34) and Washington State (62).

No. 18: Utah (8-2)

  • 2-2 vs. Quad 1, 2-0 vs. Quad 3, 4-0 vs. Quad 4.
  • Utah is second among Pac-12 Conference teams, behind only UCLA (14) and ahead of Arizona (27), Arizona State (30), Colorado (53) and Washington State (62).
  • The Utes, who beat Jacksonville State 99-65 on Thursday, play two teams ranked 200 or below — UTSA (Tuesday) and BYU (Saturday) — next week.

No. 134: Utah Valley (5-4)

  • 0-2 vs. Quad 1, 0-1 vs. Quad 2, 1-0 vs. Quad 3, 2-1 vs. Quad 4.
  • UVU is sixth among WAC teams, closely trailing New Mexico State (108), Tarleton State (118) and Grand Canyon (130) — the WAC’s top teams are Sam Houston (20) and Seattle (71).
  • The Wolverines, fresh off a 75-60 victory over BYU, play at Northern Arizona (272) this Saturday and have a game at Oregon (84) on Dec. 20 in their final game before conference play.

No. 151: Utah Tech (4-5)

  • 0-3 vs. Quad 1, 0-1 vs. Quad 2, 1-0 vs. Quad 3, 3-1 vs. Quad 4
  • Utah Tech is seventh among WAC teams and the middle of three straight Utah WAC schools in the NET rankings.
  • The Trailblazers play Division III opponent Chapman on Friday, and their next Division I opponent is home against Lindenwood (324) on Dec. 22. 

No. 181: Southern Utah (6-4)

  • 0-2 vs. Quad 1, 0-1 vs. Quad 3, 2-1 vs. Quad 4
  • Southern Utah is eighth among WAC teams, just ahead of Stephen F. Austin (187) and California Baptist (201).
  • The T-Birds play Cal State Fullerton (212) in a neutral-site game in Las Vegas on Saturday and have a matchup at a Pac-12 program — Colorado (53) — in the final game before conference play.

No. 213: BYU (5-5)

  • 0-1 vs. Quad 1, 0-1 vs. Quad 2, 1-2 vs. Quad 3, 3-1 vs. Quad 4.
  • BYU is eighth among West Coast Conference teams — seventh-place Portland is No. 139 — and ahead of only San Diego (232) and Pacific (251). 
  • The Cougars play Creighton (32) in Las Vegas this Saturday, ahead of a week that includes games against Division II Western Oregon (Thursday) and home against No. 18 Utah (Saturday).

No. 328: Weber State (2-7)

  • 0-3 vs. Quad 2, 0-3 vs. Quad 3, 1-1 vs. Quad 4.
  • Weber State is 10th (last) among Big Sky programs, trailing most closely Eastern Washington (271) and Northern Arizona (272).
  • The Wildcats play Division II Saint Martin’s on Saturday and have in-state road games at Utah State (Dec. 19) and BYU (Dec. 22) in the next two weeks.