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KU Predictions: Utah

Our writing panel gets together to predict the outcome of tomorrow's game.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

PenHawk: I actually feel better about this one than I did about Georgetown. This probably means we have no chance whatsoever. I know we've had some rough games at Sprint Center, but we did beat a ranked New Mexico team there by 17 last year, humiliated Wazzu before that, beat up Colorado State before that, etc. It's not like we have a losing record there. Poetl will give us trouble inside, but this isn't Kentucky, or even Texas. I look for another close game we put away down the stretch. Kansas 72, Utah 66

dnoll5: You know how KU can improve on their woeful shooting at the rim this season?  Dunking.  Cut it out with the soft finger rolls and the gentle kisses off the glass and dunk it like a monster.  Watch Thomas Robinson highlights if you have to.  Do anything that it takes to show these guys that going to the rim strong is good for their chances of winning.  Keep in mind that this piece of advice is coming from a six foot guy who has never dunked a ball on a regulation hoop and never will; one that would be dunking at every possible moment if he possessed the ability, but I digress.  Anyway, I wish this game was at Allen Fieldhouse because KU might need that kind of atmosphere to get a W in this one because Utah has some pieces that will really scare many Kansas fans right now.  Senior guard Delon Wright is the real deal while freshman big man Jakob Poeltl is shooting over 70% from the field.  As a team, the Utes are 10th in the nation in field goal percentage.  Still, KU is learning how to win, a new guy is stepping up each night, and I think they can squeak past Utah in this one.  Kansas 78, Utah 73, OT.

KU Grad 08: I'm torn on this one. While Utah presents a really tough matchup, another part of me thinks our guys are due for a big performance. While we struggle inside, I think our guard play takes a step forward and we draw a lot of fouls both inside and outside with our quickness. If KU can shoot well from the line (which we mostly have this season) I think we can slug this one out. Kansas 66, Utah 60

Jim Hammen: Some of our non-conference games this year look much easier now than originally scheduled.  Florida, you were supposed to be a huge resume-builder, instead you were almost a disastrous home loss, thanks for that.  But on the flip side of that coin is this Utah game.  They have looked very impressive thus far this season, and they should have every Jayhawk fan's full attention.  Delon Wright and Jakob Poeltl are arguably as good a duo as we'll face all season long.  While the Sprint Center isn't quite the house of horrors for KU that its reputation is starting to engender, the 41-mile difference between there and the Fieldhouse does feel quite a bit longer than that.  If this game was a true home game, I wouldn't be as nervous, but I feel like this game will resemble the Georgetown contest in a lot of ways.  It will be a back-and-forth battle that isn't decided until the final minute, and once again KU finds a way to scrape out a W.  Kansas 68, Utah 66.

Fizzle406: Utah has some size underneath. a couple of 7 footers and another 6'11'' guy. I think the home crowd will give us a little boost but I'm afraid we come out soft and have a hard time getting back into it. We will keep it close but ultimately come up short. Utah 63-52

brendandzwierzynski: After two straight predictions that were way off, I would love to see a game against a good team when we finally pull away and win by a decent margin. But this KU team has shown that there are tons of options when it comes to potential to have a phenomenal individual game at a moment's notice. We've seen Selden do it, we've seen Greene do it, and I expect we'll see someone else do it against the Utes. It's a close call again but KU holds on 65-61,

mikeville: Here is what I know about Utah... warning, it's not very much. Utah has blasted several nobodys, beat Wichita State and BYU, and lost to San Diego State by four. fetch says they're really good and we should be wary. I also hear they have a really good 7-footer, and we all know that KU struggles against length. So for my prediction? Just like Georgetown, I have no idea. The WSU win gives me pause, but we're better than WSU, right? Give me the 'Hawks in a squeaker, 72-71.

misterbrain: I'm tempted to pick against the Jayhawks just because they play better when I do apparently.  And with two teams ranked so close together, I would normally want all the help we could get.  But upon examining these two teams a little deeper, it appears that Kansas is actually a much better team than Utah.  Sure Utah has some big guys down low, but we have shown that we can work around size in the frontcourt. But Utah has been beating up on really bad teams.  In fact, they've played a total of 3 teams in the top 50 in KenPom (BYU, SDSU and WSU) and other than UC Riverside checking in at 246, everyone else has been outside the top 250.  The Jayhawks meanwhile have played the 7th toughest schedule in the country, and only lost to the runaway number 1.  I'm a bit worried about individual matchups, and Utah has a decent chance to pull the upset, but ultimately Kansas pulls it out.  Kansas 78, Utah 69.