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This may not be the best of the five non-NCAA Tournament teams Utah has had under seventh-year coach Larry Krystkowiak, but the current Runnin’ Utes certainly have advanced the farthest - all the way to the Big Apple in fact. And there, at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, Utah will face Western Kentucky in the first NIT semifinal.
The Utes won six of their final seven regular-season games to finish tied for third in the Pac-12, but were the only top-four seed to lose in the conference tournament quarterfinals. But then, after earning one of the four No. 2 seeds in the NIT bracket, Utah rolled to double-digit home wins over UC Davis and LSU before outdueling top-seeded host Saint Mary’s 67-58 in overtime to punch its ticket to New York and the fourth NIT semifinal appearance in the program’s history. “It’s our personalities,” senior guard and leading scorer Justin Bibbins told the Salt Lake Tribune earlier this week when asked about the Utes’ noticeably better chemistry this season.
“We all jelled with each other, and there weren’t any hotheads or people on the team who suck the life out of it. We all wanted to learn and get better, and we all love playing with each other. That’s the biggest thing.” Western Kentucky has posted its most wins in a decade and is making its first NIT semifinal appearance since 1954 after a home win over Boston College and road triumphs over top-seeded USC (79-75) and second-seeded Oklahoma State (92-84) as a fourth seed.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs Utah Utes Betting Odds and Predictions
Free Betting Odds
|777||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||
Free Betting Predictions
|Match Result: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-1½ and over/under 140)|
|Total Points O/U - : (...................)
|Total Points O/U - : (................)
Special Offer and Free Bets
Betting Odds Trends
|Western Kentucky is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Western Kentucky is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 9 of Western Kentucky's last 13 games|
|Utah is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games|
|Utah is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Utah's last 6 games|