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What Could Have Been? BYU Basketball Advanced To National Championship Game

BYU Basketball team celebrated the win over Gonzaga on February 22nd, 2020. (Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

SALT LAKE CITY – Oh how we all miss the NCAA Tournament right about now, especially what could have been for BYU basketball who was having a special season. The cancelation of the Big Dance has left us all simulating the possible outcomes of what might have happened during March Madness.

ESPN’s Basketball Power Index did the same and the results will make the cancelation of the NCAA Tournament due to the novel Coronavirus outbreak even tougher for BYU fans everywhere.

The ESPN BPI had BYU advancing to the National Championship Game before falling to the Wisconsin Badgers in the title.

What could have been?

BYU Basketball had some favorable matchups on the path to National Championship Game

On their road to the National Championship Game, BYU, a six-seed, took down No. 11 Indiana in the first round, then Seton Hall to advance to the second weekend. In the Sweet 16, BYU got revenge against two-seed San Diego State before setting up a Cinderella matchup between the schools vying to prove which “Y” is stronger against 12-seed Yale in the Elite Eight. Yale had upset WCC rival Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 to set up the unlikely matchup for a chance to go to the Final Four.

BYU cut down the nets in Los Angeles to advance to their first-ever Final Four in program history. But according to the BPI, the Cougars weren’t done.

In the National Semifinals, BYU defeated defending National Champion Virginia setting up an unlikely matchup between the Cougars and Wisconsin Badgers for One Shining Moment.

The simulations were run only one time and produced these March Madness type of results. It should be noted, the creator of ESPN’s BPI, Paul Sabin, is a BYU alumnus but we’re going to trust this simulation wasn’t slanted to favor a man’s alma mater.

With an elite post player in Yoeli Childs and guard line that featured some of the best shooters in college basketball, BYU had the formula to be a team that could have made a run in the NCAA Tournament, but sadly, we will never see that run come to fruition.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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