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No. 14 BYU at Utah basketball: How to watch, listen to or stream the game

SHARE No. 14 BYU at Utah basketball: How to watch, listen to or stream the game
Utah center Keba Keita eyes ball after knocking it away from BYU forward Atiki Ally Atiki at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Utah center Keba Keita eyes the ball after knocking it away from BYU forward Atiki Ally Atiki at the Marriott Center in Provo on Dec. 17, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

No. 14 BYU (8-0) at Utah (6-2)

  • Tip: Saturday, 5 p.m. MST.
  • Venue: Huntsman Center.
  • TV: Pac-12 Networks.
  • Livestream: pac-12.com/live.
  • BYU radio: 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
  • Utah radio: 700 AM.
  • Series: BYU leads, 134-129.

The trends

For BYU: The Cougars (8-0) are unbeaten entering Saturday’s matchup — that included a win over then-No. 17 San Diego State and victories over Arizona State and NC State in the Vegas Showdown.

For Utah: The Utes (6-2) are on a three-game winning streak — beating Saint Mary’s, Hawaii and Southern Utah since Thanksgiving — with their only losses coming at the Charleston Classic against then-No. 6 Houston and St. John’s.

What to watch for

BYU, which has won three straight in the series against Utah, is coming into the matchup with one of the country’s most efficient offenses.

The Cougars are fourth nationally in scoring (91.9 points per game) and lead the country in 3-pointers made (12.9 per game) and 3-pointers attempted (32.9).

BYU is also seventh in the country in effective field goal percentage, at 59%, and second in assists (22.4 per game).

“When they make a tough one, you don’t have time to hang your head. You’ve just got to get back and make the next play,” Utah coach Craig Smith said of facing BYU’s high-powered offense.

“It’s an NBA mentality of next-best action because I’m not totally sure you can totally take them away, but you’ve just got to do the best you can to neutralize them and make them make tough shots.”

The Utes are a strong mix of veteran experience and transfer talent in their rotation.

The Runnin’ Utes have guards such as Gabe Madsen, Cole Bajema and Rollie Worster they can rely on to make plays. Utah also has the second-tallest team in the country, led by Branden Carlson (more on him in a minute), Lawson Lovering, Keba Keita and Ben Carlson. 

There could be a couple key post players missing, though, thanks to injury. BYU’s Fousseyni Traore is already ruled out, while Branden Carlson may also miss the game.

Key player

merlin_3005256.jpg

Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) high-fives supporters after Utah beat Eastern Washington University in a men’s basketball game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Branden Carlson, C, Utah: The Utes’ fifth-year center and a first-team All-Pac-12 honoree will be a game-time decision for the rivalry game after he missed Utah’s win over Southern Utah on Tuesday with an undisclosed injury and no determination on his game status against BYU had been made as of Friday afternoon.

His availability could be the catalyst for either team in what’s expected to be a close game. Carlson is averaging a team-high 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists this season. He’s also shooting 47.1% from the floor and has made 10 3-pointers, third-most on the team. 

Quotable

“I have said this over the years a few different times, but they kind of remind you of the Lakers of the ’80s with Magic and Worthy and Kareem, just fast break and they put a lot of pressure on you, they play through the pass.” — Utah coach Craig Smith, on BYU.

“It’s super fun to play in-state rivals. It’s fun to play against guys you know and kind of grew up with. With a lot of stuff that’s been going on, this game is going to be personal. It’s going to be a fun game and I feel like we’re going to be ready for the competition.” — BYU guard Trevin Knell.

Next up

Utah: vs. Utah Valley on Dec. 16.

BYU: vs. Denver on Dec. 13.