Danny Vranes will be one of the many Runnin' Utes in attendance Saturday
Jan. 11, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - This Saturday, January 12, Utah men's basketball will host 80's night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center when the Runnin' Utes welcome USC for a 4 p.m. tip. Former players, coaches, and support staff will be honored for their contributions to the team, athletic department and university.
Utah men's basketball made five trips to the postseason during the 1980's including three visits to the NCAA Tournament. All three Western Athletic Conference championship teams (1981, `83 and '86) will be paid tribute to in a halftime ceremony.
The 1981 Runnin' Utes went 25-5, 13-3 in WAC play, for the best record under former head coach Jerry Pimm. Utah was ranked as high as No. 6 in the country in the Associated Press polls and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals before losing to eventual national runner-up North Carolina. The team featured three NBA draft picks including Danny Vranes (No. 5) and Tom Chambers (No. 8)
Two years later, Utah went 18-14, going 11-5 in WAC play and winning the league title for a third time in what turned out to be Pimm's final season as coach. The Utes advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals once more, this time upsetting mighty UCLA before losing to eventual champ NC State. Pace Mannion, Utah's first WAC Player of the Year was selected in the NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, along with teammate Peter Williams
In 1986, Utah got back to the NCAA Tournament, winning the WAC in Lynn Archibald's third season as head coach. Utah went 20-10, 12-4 in league play, as Jerry Stroman was named First Team All-WAC and Manny Hendrix was named to the second team.
The Runnin' Utes also made the postseason in 1987 and '88 with visits to the National Invitational Tournament. For the decade, Utah went 170-132, 90-68 in WAC action. The Utes were also an astounding 117-43 at home during this time.