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No. 5 Utah uses hot-shooting second half to advance to the Sweet 16

Utah v Georgetown

Getty Images

Getty Images

Brandon Taylor and Delon Wright combined for 26 points, 10 assists and eight boards as No. 5 Utah advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 75-64 win over No. 4 Georgetown.

The Utes looked like they might be in some trouble early on, as the Hoyas jumped out to an 11 point lead in the first six minutes. But Utah responded with a 14-2 run of their own, taking a 24-23 lead and, eventually, heading into the half tied. Utah would catch fire in the second half, led by Taylor, who hit a number of big threes to help the Utes begin to stretch their lead.

The turnaround that Larry Krystkowiak has engineered in Salt Lake City has been impressive to say the least. Four years ago, there was an argument to be made that the Utes were the worst power conference team in all of college basketball. In 2011-2012, the Utes not only won just six games, but they held tryouts in January of that season to help fill out their roster.

Fast forward three seasons and Krystkowiak not only has the Utah program to a point where they are -- deservedly -- a No. 5 seed, but he now has them heading to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. It’s the first time since 2005 that Utah have been alive this late in the season.

Don’t be surprised to see them advance further, either. Utah will take on the winner of No. 1 Duke and No. 8 San Diego State in the Sweet 16, and the Aztecs have a real shot of picking off the Blue Devils on Sunday night.