Expecting, and hoping for a near-sellout crowd for Monday's meet between No. 3 Utah and No. 1 Georgia, Utah officials are advising gymnastics fans to get their tickets before the day of the meet to avoid long lines at the gate.
Utah drew a season high of 12,746 fans for its last home meet against Minnesota. The Huntsman Center has a capacity of 15,000, although the Utes allowed a standing-room-only crowd of 15,238 to watch a 1991 meet against Cal State Fullerton. That mark stands as a national record for the largest crowd to watch a collegiate gymnastics meet.
Utah and Georgia have won more national titles than any other team, with the Utes owning 10 and the Gym Dogs with six, including the 2005 title.
Both teams are undefeated, and are separated in the rankings by 0.795 points.
Georgia hasn't competed at Utah in a regular season meet since 1991, when it lost 194.65-193.25.
"It doesn't get any bigger than this," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "What makes it big is the tradition of success."
To entice fans even more, some tickets normally for sale at $8 are available for $2.
How they match up
Here is a look at how Georgia and Utah matchup on each event heading into Monday's showdown. Georgia is ranked No. 1 on every event with regional qualifying scores of 49.415 on the vault, 49.325 on the bars, 49.07 on the balance beam and 49.33 on the floor.
Utah is ranked third on the vault (49.22), second on the bars (49.215), fifth on the beam (48.98) and ninth on the floor (49.01).
Georgia has the top all-arounder in the country in Courtney Kupets, who has an RQS of 39.485. She is No. 1 on the bars and third on the beam.
In the polls
Southern Utah and Utah State fell out of the polls, leaving the Utes as the only team from Utah in the rankings. Alabama is in fourth, just .06 behind the Utes. . . . Oregon State, which is hosting nationals, scored a season best 195.55 at Arizona State (196.95), and moved up a spot to No. 16. . . . The surprises in the rankings have to be Iowa State at No. 5 and Missouri at No. 9. Those teams were tabbed No. 11 and No. 16, respectively, in the coaches' preseason poll.
Individually, Nicolle Ford is No. 7 in the all-around, fifth on the bars and sixth on the beam. Kristina Baskett is tied for eighth in the vault and ninth on the bars and Ashley Postell is ranked No. 1 on the beam, with a 9.91 RQS.
Postell, the 2002 World balance beam champ, said her ranking on the event didn't matter, although know she wants to defend it.
"Once you're up there, you want to stay there," she said.
Utah State is at SUU on Friday and BYU is at No. 14 Arizona. The Aggies are 0-5 in the WAC and are coming off a 193.75-192.175 loss to Sacramento State while SUU lost to then-ranked No. 8 Michigan 195.15-194.125.
1. Georgia 196.965
2. Florida 196.170
3. Utah 196.160
4. Alabama 196.100
5. Iowa St. 196.050
6. Oklahoma 196.005
7. LSU 195.955
8. UCLA 195.850
9. Missouri 195.780
10. Nebraska 195.670
11. Michigan 195.620
12. Stanford 195.585
13. Auburn 195.340
14. Arizona 195.170
15. Arizona St. 194.945
16. Oregon St. 194.755
17. Penn State 194.690
18. Denver 194.605
19. Kentucky 194.580
20. Arkansas 193.895
21. Illinois 193.685
22. Minnesota 193.595
23. Michigan St. 193.205
24. W. Virginia 193.190
25. Ohio State 193.105