With BYU’s recent win streak and success, some BYU outlets are starting to throw the “Bubble” word around. Stop. Just stop.
Do you remember when you were in high school and they had the fundraiser where you would buy a ticket and put your name in a box and then one person would get randomly chosen to win some big prize? Remember how you would buy one ticket and others would buy 50 tickets and right before the drawing you somehow convinced yourself that you had a good chance on winning just to get your hopes up when your name wasn’t chosen ?
That is what some BYU sports outlets, who we really respect and work with, are starting to do with BYU Basketball and the NCAA Tournament.
BYU Basketball is 18-10 and will LIKELY finish 20-11 in the regular season. Given their non conference record (9-8) and the appearance that BYU was headed to be a middle of the pack team in the WCC, being in their current position has been a success. But is it good enough to be on the bubble? What if BYU goes into Spokane on Saturday and knocks off the No. 2 team in the nation for the forth time in five years? Unfortunately the answer is still no.
Granted there are some insane possibilities that this would get BYU into the tournament. That would include every team that is currently on the bubble going 0-4 or 1-3 to finish out the regular season, but realistically that isn’t going to happen.
The reason why it is so dangerous to throw this idea around is because it will cause issues with the team that shouldn’t be there. If fans suddenly are thinking “If we beat Gonzaga we will go to the NCAA Tournament.” and then BYU loses, fans will start to say how horrible BYU is, how bad the players are, and that we need a new coach. This will not help the team going into the WCC Tournament and whatever postseason tournament they play in.
If BYU somehow does beat Gonzaga on Saturday and BYU is still left out of the Tournament, which they likely would be, fans will start to go after the NCAA and blaming the system.
Is the system messed up? Personally, I think it is skewed towards the major conferences and more Cinderella teams would only make the tournament better. But to keep out a team that is 22-11 from the WCC, 1-4 against ranked teams and a 9-8 record in non conference doesn’t deserve to go to the Big Dance.
I’m sorry if this is harsh coming from a BYU sports website, but it is the truth. The only way BYU is getting to the NCAA Tournament is to win the WCC Tournament.
There is a big difference between being pessimistic and realistic, and this argument in realistic. Last season, Saint Mary’s was ranked No. 20 in the nation going into the WCC Tournament with a 29-4 overall record. The Gaels advanced to the semi finals before losing to BYU, who was 23-9 themselves at the time. Saint Mary’s didn’t make the NCAA Tournament and neither did BYU with a 24-10 overall record.
The biggest argument against the Gaels was they didn’t play anyone. This season, BYU has played three ranked teams (Nevada, Houston and Gonzaga) but lost all three by a an average of 20 points, and two of those were at home.
I’m a huge BYU Basketball fan and I hope they win the WCC Tournament, but I realize that this team had a rough start, and those early losses to teams like Weber State, Illinois State and UNLV are going to have their consequences come Selection Sunday. So enjoy the team for it is, an improved team that fought back from adversity and may very well finish second in the WCC.