BYU COUGARS

BYU Moves Into Top 10 Of NET Rankings, Eyes High NCAA Tournament Seed

Mar 1, 2020, 10:06 AM | Updated: 8:33 pm
Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs (23) drives past Santa Clara Broncos guard Jalen William...
Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs (23) drives past Santa Clara Broncos guard Jalen Williams (24) and Santa Clara Broncos forward Josip Vrankic (13) at Brigham Young University in Provo on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – We have now entered the month of March and that means one thing, madness is soon to ensue. The good thing for BYU is that they are playing some of their best basketball as the NCAA Tournament draws near.

BYU completed the month of February with a perfect 8-0 record on Saturday as they defeated Pepperdine 81-64 to close out the regular season. With this nine-game winning streak, the Cougars are currently on, they’ve risen up the NET rankings.

On Sunday, BYU moved into the top 10 of the NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) for the first time this season, checking in at number 10.

The NET ranking system is the top rankings that are used by the NCAA Selection Committee. There’s no guarantee that BYU will be one of the top 10 seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament, but the higher you are in the NET, the better your seed will likely be when the bracket is revealed on March 15th.

What are the NET Rankings?

The NET ranking is an algorithm that compiles a team’s value based on game results through the opponents they face, where the games are played, and who ultimately wins the game.

NET rankings break up games into four different “quadrants.” Teams are looking to compile as many quadrant 1 games as possible on their resume and pull off some wins when going up against those great teams. Losing games to teams in the quadrant 3 or quadrant 4 could potentially impact a team’s chances at an NCAA Tournament berth in March.

How high could BYU move on the NCAA Tournament seed lines?

BYU sits at 24-7 overall on the season and now has a top 10 ranking in the NET heading into the West Coast Conference. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi joined Cougar Sports Saturday (KSL NewsRadio, Saturday 12-3 pm) prior to BYU’s game against Pepperdine and said that the Cougars ceiling for an NCAA Tournament seed is a four or five.

But now that the Cougars are in the Top 10 and two games against Quadrant One opponents potentially loom when BYU tips off in the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas on Monday, March 9th, why wouldn’t a three-seed be in play?

What also helps BYU’s case for a high seed in the big dance is how the Cougars have played when Yoeli Childs is in the lineup. BYU is 16-2 with Childs playing and one of those losses came against Utah with the WCC Player of the Year candidate leaving early due to cramps.

The advanced analytics love this BYU team and if the committee buys into the numbers, the Cougars have a case to be as high as a three-seed. But will brand name programs trump BYU who hasn’t appeared in the dance in five years? Time will tell.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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