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Utah Jazz Downbeat #2056

Indiana, Butler, the NCAAs, Gordon Hayward — AND MORE!

NCAA Championship Game: Butler v Duke Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Late Downbeat is late. I blame El Niño. You can blame Amar, though.

The Utah Jazz won the first game of their road trip by soundly beating the Detroit Pistons. The good guys have followed that up with losing a close one against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and then just not being able to make any shots at all against the Chicago Bulls. If the team wants to salvage this East trip they will have to win tonight, against the Indiana Pacers. That would put the Jazz at 2-2 and with some face saved. (And the head to head results would be 2-0 vs DET, 2-0 vs IND, 1-1 vs CLE, 0-2 vs CHI.)

Indy is currently 6th in the East trying to catch the Atlanta Hawks while fending off the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pacers are 24-10 at home this year and 15-11 against the Western Conference. Utah is 42-41 all time against Indiana, but only 14-27 in their barn. Recent history is on our side though, as they won the last game there, and the last three games overall.

FURTHERMORE, the Jazz have four Indiana guys on the team and the Pacers have a few Utah guys. Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack played there in college. George Hill played there in college and played for the Pacers. Trey Lyles played there in high school. C.J. Miles and Al Jefferson both used to play for the Jazz.

Jody has more on this!

It should be an entertaining game, but let’s not forget that this is one the Jazz have to win.

It’s March Madness right now, so I gotta ask: how’s your bracket look right about now? There were a few upsets in the Round of 64:

  • [9] Michigan State beat [8] Miami 78-58,
  • [10] Wichita State beat [7] Dayton 64-58,
  • [11] USC beat [6] SMU 66-65,
  • [11] Xavier beat [6] Maryland 76-65,
  • [11] URI beat [6] Creighton 84-72,
  • and [12] Mid Tennessee beat [5] Minnesota 81-72

The 5/12 upset is pretty big but it’s not a bracket buster. The second round did have a few that could qualify.

  • [8] Wisconsin beat [1] Villanova 65-62,
  • [7] South Carolina beat [2] Duke 88-81,
  • [7] Michigan beat [2] Louisville 73-69,
  • and [11] Xavier beat [3] FSU 91-66.

One top seed, two number two seeds, and one number three seed left the dance over the weekend. And looks like Xavier is making a case to be called Cinderella for making it to the Sweet 16.

Our Jazz players do have some rooting interest in this still, Butler University (Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack), University of Kansas (Jeff Withey), and University of Kentucky (Trey Lyles) are all still in this.

For me, I didn’t go to university in America, so I don’t have any rooting interest — unless the Jazz have a lotto pick. And they do not this year.

Early “The Dunkster” origin story:



Also, if you want one of the old green ones, you can probably just steal one in two months.

Karl Malone made some headlines when he suggested that players — star players — shouldn’t rest during the season. LeBron James had a rebuttal that this is just how the league is now.

I kind of see both sides to this. A third side is with TV games / games that have a lot of ad revenue coming into them. The money boys want the best product out there, all of the time. So where do YOU stand on this?