SUU to Meet Utah Tech in Rubber Match
During the 2022-23 regular season, each team claimed the win on its home floor. Now the SUU Thunderbirds and Utah Tech Trailblazers will meet at a neutral venue with winner-move-on; loser-go-home implications.
Cameron Gooden led four Trailblazers in double figures with 22 points as No. 11 seed Utah Tech went to overtime to upset #6 seed Stephen F Austin 80-76 to record its first-ever NCAA Division I postseason victory, and to advance to the quarter-finals of the WAC Men's Basketball Tournament to meet SUU. As the #2 seed, the Thunderbirds drew a first-round bye, awaiting the outcome of Tuesday's match up.
On February 4, the Trailblazers claimed an 86-79 win over Southern Utah at the Burns Arena in St. George. On February 17, SUU prevailed 81-71 at America First Event Center in Cedar City.
Thursday's game at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas will not only decide bragging rights, but also result in the advancement of the victor to the semi-finals, with a March Madness bid going to the eventual winner of the WAC Tournament. The Championship game is scheduled for Saturday, and will be nationally televised.
Here are complete results and quarter-final match ups after Tuesday's play:
#8 California Baptist 69 - #9 Abilene Christian 62. Cal Baptist will play #1 seed Sam Houston, Thursday at 12 noon PST.
#5 Grand Canyon 82 - #12 UT Arlington 77. Grand Canyon will meet #4 Seattle U, Thursday at 2p PST.
#7 Tarlton State 74 - #10 UT Rio Grand Valley 70. Tarlton will face #2 seed Utah Valley, Thursday at 6p PST.
#11 Utah Tech 80 - #6 Stephen F Austin 76. Utah Tech plays #3 Southern Utah, Thursday at 8p PST.
The SUU - Utah Tech match up can be heard on 107.7FM / 590AM KSUB, the home of the Thunderbirds, starting with the pregame at 845p local time.
(Photo: courtesy utahtechtrailblazers.com)