Tonight was a good night for basketball teams from Utah. First off, the Utes came away with (arguably) the best win from the Jim Boylen era, taking down the UNLV Rebels. The Rebels were the #1 team in the conference (holding the tiebreaker over BYU) and had beaten the Utes 5 straight times. Utah has struggled against teams that they should have beaten (most recently Wyoming at home) and has shown much of the same inconsistencies that plagued them last year. They have shown a huge improvement in their defense though - leading the league in many defensive stats. They are giving up almost 20 points less than last year and holding teams to 12% worse shooting (and an amazing 18% worse from beyond the arc).
This win was not only a statement win for the Utes but a welcomed win from Cougar fans as well. BYU (having beaten TCU this evening as well) now has sole possession of the top spot in the conference. That obviously won't last as the Utes have to play in Happy Valley on the 20th. But, nonetheless, you're welcome.
Now onto the Jazz. The Jazz played the Denver Nuggets tonight in a dirty division game. Both teams were called for numerous fouls and a couple of players fouled out on the Jazz, while Carmelo Anthony fouled out on the Nuggets. I had to turn away from the game for a bit because I was getting so worked up over it. Boozer had a horrible night, but Deron Williams and Kyle Korver more than picked up the slack. The game was played in Denver, decided in overtime and ended up being their 10th straight win (the last time that they won 10 straight games was almost 9 years ago!). Like I said, a good night for Utah basketball teams.