The Runnin’ Utes basketball program has been a sore spot for those who love college hoops in the beehive state.

It’s been five seasons since Utah has had a year with 20 wins or more, and 7 seasons since the NCAA tournament was a part of Utah’s postseason.

BYU has made one tournament appearance since then, and Utah State has made three.

Years of mediocrity have wearied the Utes fan base who have struggled to fill the Huntsman Center on a nightly basis.

According to ESPN, Utah’s recent 88-86 escape from Southern Utah had an attendance of 7,161 people, less than half of full capacity (48 %)

I know on paper it didn’t appear as the most intriguing matchup despite Southern Utah putting on a show, so it’s not the fairest example to use.

Utah filled 50 percent of seats VS UC Riverside for their second home game of this season, and 51 percent for their home opener VS Eastern Washington.

You would certainly think that Pac-12 play would produce higher attendance numbers, but if we go back to last year, home attendance being subpar is a common theme and has been.

The contest VS Colorado was 48 percent, Cal was 45, Stanford was 49, Washington 52, Wazzou at 44 and Oregon, 55 percent.

When Utah battled #4 UCLA to the bitter end, only 57 percent of fans were there to witness a near upset.

Their home finale VS USC was 68 percent capacity. You get the theming, I’m sure.

When Utah bested #4 Arizona early in conference play last year, they did so in front of 8,505 empty seats.

The last game that Utah sold out wasn’t something I could find despite my best efforts, I went all the way back to 2017 via ESPN before the data became unreliable.

So, you could imagine the press and hype when it was announced that the Huntsman Center had no more tickets to give for tomorrow nights rivalry clash between Utah and BYU.

Last time these squads played in the Huntsman Center, Utah hit 76 percent capacity, a large attendance number by today’s standards, but it wasn’t a sellout.

With BYU ranked #14 and the rivalry aspect in full swing, not to mention the Big 12 brotherhood both teams will share next year, it provides a fitting storyline to end a streak existing for more years than I count.

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