Cougars Have Shot At No. 2 Seed In WCC Tournament, But Will Need Some Help

Feb 26, 2019, 5:34 PM | Updated: 5:37 pm
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Dave Rose talks with Brigham Young Cougars guard Zac Seljaas (2) i...
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Dave Rose talks with Brigham Young Cougars guard Zac Seljaas (2) in Provo on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Jeff Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeff Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – While the Cougars’ 34-point loss to Gonzaga was costly, there’s still plenty for BYU left to play for.

Namely, the No. 2 seed in the upcoming West Coast Conference championship tournament.

While the loss guaranteed that the Cougars will have their first sub-20 win season under head coach Dave Rose and was the worst loss in Rose’s 13 seasons in Provo, the Cougars still have a shot at making a deep run in the conference tournament.

Seeding helps, and grabbing the No. 2 seed in the tournament would be a great accomplishment for BYU in an up-and-down season. To get that placement in the tournament however, the Cougars are going to need some help.

Gaels Have The Edge For No. 2 Seed

Currently the second place slot belongs to Saint Mary’s, which holds a half-game lead over BYU. The Gaels have two games left, the first on Thursday to Portland and the second on March 2 against Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs recently ascended to the top national ranking following their clubbing of BYU. It’s not a stretch to assume that they should easily handle the Gaels in the season finale. Should the Gaels pull off the improbable and topple the Zags in the final regular season game, the No. 2 seed in the tournament would be theirs, regardless of how BYU’s final game against San Diego plays out.

For BYU to secure the No. 2 seed in the tournament, which will be played in Las Vegas beginning on March 7, they’ll need to cheer for Portland to hand Saint Mary’s a loss on Thursday.

It would be a monumental upset. Portland, with a 7-22 record overall, has yet to win a conference game this weekend. ESPN’s BPI matchup predictor gives the Pilots, losers of their last 15 games, a one percent chance of winning.

More than likely, BYU will receive the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. Last season, the Cougars received the third place slot in the tournament, managed to beat Saint Mary’s in the semifinals and lost in the championship game to Gonzaga.

Should history repeat itself, the Cougars will likely need to turn their fortunes around and win the whole tournament to make the NCAA Tournament.

It’s a tough road, but it’s not impossible.

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Cougars Have Shot At No. 2 Seed In WCC Tournament, But Will Need Some Help