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Now that it’s March, there’s a confluence of sports going on around the country, and around the University of Utah.

The women’s basketball team opened Pac-12 Tournament play late Wednesday night in Las Vegas with a hard-fought 66-60 win over California and will face Washington State in another late-night affair Thursday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Meanwhile, the Runnin’ Utes will host their home finale against Colorado Saturday at the Huntsman Center before heading to Vegas next week for its run at the conference tournament.

Baseball and softball seasons are well underway. The gymnastics team is coming off a tough outing but it has the talent to compete for a national title, and the University of Utah will be hosting the NCAA Skiing Championships next week in Park City Mountain Resort and Soldier Hollow.

And don’t forget that spring football kicks off March 22 as the reigning Pac-12 champions continue preparing in earnest for the 2022 season.

If that weren’t enough, there’s a new daily guessing game that has ties to Utah basketball. Poeltl is a daily game named after former Ute star Jakob Poeltl, who now plays for the San Antonio Spurs. The game has participants guess an NBA mystery player in eight tries.

Happy March.

Numbers game

7.4: Team-high, per-game rebound average for Runnin’ Ute Marco Anthony.

260: 3-pointers made this season by the Utah women’s basketball team, a school record.

766: Population of Henefer, hometown of Utah women’s basketball player Kennady “Lightning” McQueen.

From the archives

Transferring triumphantly: Former Runnin’ Utes are mostly flourishing at new schools
Few teams in the country are better than BYU and Utah at retaining talent

Extra points


Comments from Deseret News readers

“(Marco) Anthony has been the best all around player for the Utes this year. Smith would be smart to start his recruiting by getting Marco back.”

— SFGiants

“The portal giveth, and the portal taketh away. It’s so easy to move to another school, can’t blame kids for wanting to want to make a change and not have to be in a rebuild. With the old transfer rules, players were bound to schools more firmly. It was time for a change, and with a roster of modest talent in Year 1, and especially with a lot of tough losses, (Craig) Smith has shown he can coach. It’s fun to watch guys really believe, play hard, and find some success. The way this team has improved, I give another year to Smith in my support, so at least 4, no reason to think it won’t grow from there. With the portal Smith can find some talent and we’ll be better next year. In Year 3 we may start to contend, but the Pac-12 is a league with a lot of parity, so we’ll see. If we can get to the 50% level in talent in the Pac-12, Smith can work with that and keep moving up. The top 4 teams in the Pac-12 are at a different level, so this will take time.”

— 10CC

Up next

March 2 | 9:30 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. California | @Las Vegas | Pac-12 Network

March 4 | 7 p.m. | Gymnastics | vs. Minnesota | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network

March 4 | 7 p.m. | Baseball | vs. CSU Bakersfield | @Bakersfield, California

March 4 | 8:30 p.m. | Softball | vs. Cal State Fullerton | @Fullerton, California | Pac-12 Network

March 5 | 7:30 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. Colorado | @Salt Lake City | ESPNU

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March 5 | 2 p.m. | 5 p.m. (DH) | Baseball | vs. CSU Bakersfield | @Bakersfield, California

March 5 | 11 p.m. | Softball | vs. Kansas | @Fullerton, California | Pac-12 Network

March 6 | 2 p.m. | Baseball | vs. CSU Bakersfield | @Bakersfield, California

March 6 | 1:30 p.m. | Softball | vs. Texas A&M | @Fullerton, California | Pac-12 Network

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