BYU Basketball is firmly on the outside of the bubble of the NCAA Tournament.
BYU Basketball needs help. The sort of help that they needed in football during the 2020 season when the Cougars were trying to make it into the Top 12 of the College Football Playoff rankings. Of course we all know what happened; the Cougars travelled across the country last minute and were tackled two yards short of what likely would have been an almost guaranteed NY6 Bowl game appearance.
Looking back at it now, that game did the Cougars more harm than help as it took BYU’s NY6 hopes from a 50% chance to a 0%, but if you asked me again if it was worth the risk, I will answer absolutely. As the phrase goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.
It’s desperation time again.
As of right now, BYU Basketball has a 6% of making the NCAA Tournament according to TeamRankings.com. They also have some open dates between their final regular season game and the WCC Tournament.
Is it time to pull a Coastal Carolina and find another team on the Bubble and play a game? Maybe the Cougars could find a team and play at some high school gym somewhere to make it a neutral site game (Quad One). The loser of the game would essentially give their NCAA hopes a death sentence, while the winner would boost their NCAA chances up to at least the 25-40% range.
The issue of course would be finding a team that would:
- Be interested in playing BYU last minute
- . Be good enough to boost BYU’s resume, and their resume should they beat BYU
In other words, of the 300+ division one teams in college basketball, only about 20-25 would even possibly fall in this range.
One of these teams could be a rematch with Utah State. The Aggies are clearly a bit lower than BYU, but a win against the Cougars AND a deep run in the Mountain West Tournament could potentially lead to them finding themselves on the bubble. This could be a game that both sides may want to pursue.
Other teams include San Diego State, Belmont, South Dakota State, and yes even Oregon.
While it is very unlikely that this will actually happen, it is something that I hope Mark Pope and his staff are at least pursuing. At the end of the day BYU Basketball needs to do everything they possibly can to get in the tournament, and even with a loss, I would applaud the effort.