Utah completes perfect 16-0 season at home

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- If this was goodbye, Andrew Bogut made it a memorable one for Utah fans.

Bogut had his 20th double-double of the season with 20 points and 15 rebounds in what was likely his final college home game, leading the Utes (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) past San Diego State 72-60 on Saturday.

The 7-foot Australian is just a sophomore, but he's already being projected as an NBA lottery pick, if not the top overall selection in the draft. He's putting off the decision until the season ends.

"I've got to talk to the right people and see if everything's in place and everything's right," said Bogut, who also had four assists and three blocks. "We've still got eight games to play."

Eight more games would mean Utah sweeping through the Mountain West Conference tournament next week and then making a run to the NCAA championship game.

But Saturday was definitely the Utes' final appearance in the Huntsman Center this season and the athletic department wanted to make sure Bogut got a good send-off. Pregame honors for the final home game are usually reserved for departing seniors, but on Saturday Bogut joined Marc Jackson, Utah's only senior, for the pregame honors.

From there, he turned Senior Day into Sophomore Day for the Utes (25-4, 13-1 Mountain West).

Bogut opened the game with a two-handed dunk and all but ended it late in the second half with a 3-pointer to help Utah complete a perfect 16-0 season at home.

"If he does leave, I want the best for him. And at least he had a good send-off," said Utah coach Ray Giacoletti, who was hired last spring to replace Rick Majerus and went to Australia last summer to make sure Bogut was still coming back to the Utes.

Another decision to return this time seems much less likely. But just in case, Ute fans made sure Bogut knew he'd be welcome by chanting "One more year!" and giving him a standing ovation when he left the game with 53 seconds remaining.

Australian flags covered some of the red in the seats and an inflatable kangaroo was even bounced around like a beach ball in honor of Bogut, whose father came from Australia to see the game.

"This was a great day, especially with my father being here," he said. "I'm glad the fans appreciate me as a player and we really appreciate their support."

Jackson, who left the team before last season but came back when Giacoletti was hired, also got a rousing goodbye when he left right after Bogut. Jackson finished with 10 points and seven assists and he and Bogut were both greeted by Giacoletti before going to the bench.

"I didn't know what else I could say to them other than 'Thank you for believing in us.' They didn't have to stay and believe," Giacoletti said. "Not only did they believe, they were able to make something special."

Justin Hawkins added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Utes, who outrebounded the Aztecs 36-14 and completed the best season in the history of the Mountain West -- topping Air Force's 12-2 mark last season and running away with the top seed in next week's MWC tournament.

Utah's only loss in league play was at New Mexico on Feb. 21, which ended an 18-game winning streak.

Brandon Heath led San Diego State (10-17, 4-9) with 23 points
and Matt Thomas scored 14 for the Aztecs, who kept Utah's lead to single digits until the final minutes.

Thomas made two free throws with 3:57 left to get San Diego State to 61-55, but Utah scored the next eight points. Bryant Markson, who scored 10, and Hawkins hit back-to-back reverse layups, Hawkins added a free throw and Bogut capped the run with his 3-pointer.

"Now six points turns into 10 fairly late in the game and there was no chance," San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. "We would've had to have gotten a little bit lucky in addition to playing well to pull out a win today."

The Utes led 32-30 at halftime after shooting 64 percent in the first half. But the lead was still small because Utah also had just one more field goal (14) than it had turnovers. Utah didn't clean it up much in the second half until the very end, when the Aztecs stopped hitting shots.