College Hoops

Runnin’ Utes Indy Bound for Sold Out Battle in Hinkle Fieldhouse Against Indiana State

Runnin' Utes Indy Bound for Sold Out Battle in Hinkle Fieldhouse Against Indiana State

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men’s basketball team is headed to Indianapolis to play Indiana State in the NIT semifinals in front of a sold out crowd inside Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday, April 2. Mike Corey will have the call alongside former head coach Fran Fraschilla with Myron Medcalf roaming the sidelines on ESPN as the Runnin’ Utes and Sycamores duke it out for the first time in program history while vying for a spot in the NIT Championship game.
Utah has great history with the NIT, winning the championship back on March 24, 1947, when Vadal Peterson’s squad defeated Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats 49-45 inside Madison Square Garden in front of 18,493 fans. The Runnin’ Utes were led by a pair of All-Americans and ABA draft selections in Vern Gardner and Arnie Ferrin, who had 15 points each, while Leon Watson chipped in with 13 points. Fred Weidner added 4 points while Wat Misaka had 2 points.
“Undoubtedly, Coach [Vadal] Peterson had instructed his men to slow down the pace and stress possession at all times. The Utah plan of battle never deviated although the Wildcats tried to force the Utes into faster action. The Utes knew what they wanted to do and did it — handsomely.” – Louis Effrat, New York Times
The semifinal game was a high-scoring affair between Utah and West Virginia with the Runnin’ Utes sneaking past the Mountaineers 64-62 behind stellar performances from Gardner and Ferrin, who scored 18 points apiece. Watson chipped in with 14 points of his own while Misaka and Lyman Clark added 9 points and 5 points, respectively.
“To achieve the upset, the Utah players – six players carried the burden until the last minute – controlled the rebounds underneath both backboards, with [Vern] Gardner, [Arnie] Ferrin] and little [Wat] Misaka a trio of busybodies that made the night most uncomfortable for the favored Mountaineers” – Louis Effrat, New York Times
Utah is 17-10 all-time against the Missouri Valley Conference with its last two meetings coming against Wichita State. Both teams won on their respective floors with the 25th-ranked Utes taking the 69-68 victory in OT over the No. 8-ranked Shockers on a go-ahead jumper with 14 seconds left in overtime at the Huntsman Center. Wichita State then knocked off No. 25/24 Utah the following year inside…

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