BYU Basketball’s NCAA Tournament bid is on life support.
Three weeks ago we were asking ourselves if this year’s BYU Basketball team was the best team under Mark Pope, and indirectly since the 2011 Jimmer team. Fast forward to today and we are just hoping that someway, somehow BYU will be able to make the NCAA Tournament, something that they have easily done in Mark Pope’s first two seasons.
But even as the Cougars have a solid 7-7 record against Quad One and Quad Two teams, they find themselves needing, yes needing to win this Saturday against a really good St. Mary’s team that was ranked last week before falling to Gonzaga.
If BYU wins, they just need to win their next three games (Pepperdine, LMU and likely Santa Clara/San Diego) and they are in the tournament. If they lose however, the season may be over (let’s face it, BYU is not beating Gonzaga in the WCC Tourney). The reality is, BYU will be clearly on the outside looking in with a loss to St. Mary’s this weekend.
Regardless of what happens, beating Pepperdine and LMU at home next week will not help the Cougars’ cause, in fact it may hurt them just as it did this past week. At that point, what is BYU’s chances hanging on? Well, not much.
Historically Conference Championships have done very little to build or effect a resume all that much. Sure, teams in small conferences absolutely have to win their conference championship to make the tourney, but in Mid-Major and P5 conferences, wins and even losses mean very little barring major upsets.
The problem is that in the WCC Tourney, there is nothing that would be a major upset to get BYU back into the tournament. Even with a win against St. Mary’s in the WCC Tournament, that wouldn’t likely move the needle enough to get BYU from the Next Four Out all the way into the Last Four In.
In other words, BYU needs to win on Saturday and there is no way around it.