March 3, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Both the Wyoming Cowboys and Utah Utes enter Saturday's game in Salt Lake City with identical 5-10 records in Mountain West Conference play tied for sixth place. Saturday's game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. from the Jon M. Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV of Salt Lake City, and will also be available on a pay-per-view basis on ESPN FullCourt.
Wyoming is 12-16 overall, while the Utes are 12-14. Although the two proud programs lead the conference in regular-season basketball titles - four for Utah and two for Wyoming -- Saturday's 158th meeting between the two schools will be a battle to get back on the winning track. Wyoming has lost five consecutive games, while Utah has lost four straight. The winner of Saturday's regular-season finale will assure itself of the No. 6 seed in next week's Mountain West Conference Tournament in Denver.
Both teams feature young starting lineups. Wyoming started three freshmen, one sophomore and one senior in its most recent game at San Diego State on Wednesday night. Utah started two freshmen, two sophomores and one senior in its loss at TCU on Wednesday night.
The Utes have won the last three meetings between the two schools, including a 71-63 victory earlier this season in Laramie. However in that previous meeting against Utah, Wyoming's Justin Williams did not play due to a sprained ankle. The Mountain West's leading rebounder and shot blocker, Williams should make a big difference for the Cowboys on Saturday.
The Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast Saturday's game at Utah on its 25-station affiliate network beginning with the pregame show one-half hour prior to tipoff.
Wyoming's next game will be on Thursday, March 9 in the quarterfinal round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Denver's Pepsi Center. The Cowboys will be either the sixth or seventh seed entering next week's MWC Tournament, and will play either Air Force or BYU, depending on the outcome of this Saturday's games. Air Force and BYU enter the final day of the regular season tied for second place in the conference race at 11-4. If Wyoming enters the tournament as the No. 6 seed, the Pokes will play at 10 p.m. next Thursday against the No. 3 seed. If UW is the No. 7 seed, it will play at 7 p.m. next Thursday versus the No. 2 seed.