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Utah, Utah St. Headed to NCAA Tourney

Utah, Utah St. Headed to NCAA Tourney

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah and Utah State don't have too far to travel for the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

The Utes open the tournament Thursday against Texas-El Paso in Tucson, Ariz., as the No. 6 seed in the Austin regional. The Utes (27-5) were in the final pairing announced Sunday afternoon. Utah was hoping for a higher seed, but was hurt by a loss to New Mexico in the Mountain West tournament championship.

Utah State (24-7) plays third-seeded Arizona (27-6) on Thursday in Boise, Idaho, in the Chicago regional. The Wildcats won the Pac-10 regular-season title, but lost to Washington in the conference tournament championship.

Utah State guaranteed a tournament bid by upsetting No. 18 Pacific 65-52 Saturday in the Big West Conference tournament championship. The Aggies were left out of the NCAA field last year with a 25-3 record after losing in the Big West semifinals.

But by ending Pacific's 22-game winning streak, Utah State didn't leave it up to the committee and got the No. 14 in the region.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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