BYU Basketball To Play In Legends Classic Featuring Power Conference Teams

Oct 6, 2020, 7:18 PM | Updated: Oct 14, 2020, 1:28 pm
BYU Basketball Mark Pope...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 09: Head coach Mark Pope of the Brigham Young Cougars gestures to his players as they take on the Saint Mary's Gaels during the West Coast Conference basketball tournament semifinals at the Orleans Arena on March 9, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Gaels defeated the Cougars 51-50. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball will play in a multi-team event that features power conference teams.

The multi-team event features the home team UConn, who has rejoined the Big East Conference, USC from the Pac-12, and the SEC’s Vanderbilt Commodores.

Once the start date for the 2020-21 college basketball season was established for November 25th, BYU’s top priority became finding a multi-team event that will allow the Cougars to play quality teams and position them at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.

“The most pressing [part of the schedule] right now is the loss of the MTE or the re-scheduling of the MTE,” Pope said to the media during a Zoom call in September. “The first thing we did was we ran through all of the MTE’s that had dates affected, and we circled every high-major that was in those events and we’re trying to call them all individually to see if we can get those games. I don’t know if that’s going to work. But it’s a little bit of a free for all right now, and just trying to figure it out. So it’s fun. ”

BYU was originally scheduled to play in another MTE called the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. That field only featured one power conference team in Boston College. The rest were from mid-major conferences.

BYU Basketball Non-Conference Schedule is critical

BYU is getting an upgrade to its non-conference schedule by playing in the Legends Classic scheduled to be played on December 3rd-4th.

Tom Holmoe, BYU’s director athletics, addressed BYU basketball’s scheduling dilemma as the season approaches last week during a Zoom call with the media.

“There are games that are being scheduled right now. They’re non-conference games, and it’s been topsy turvy, just like in football, we’ve lost a lot of non-conference scheduled games. Now, everybody’s kind of back in like the Pac-12 was out; now they’re back in. Now we’re going back to the table to see how we can best schedule those games.” Holmoe said. “Can we reschedule that game against Oregon? Can we reschedule that game against Utah? Can we reschedule that game Arizona State? I’ve got Brian Santiago going 24/7 on basketball, and I got 24/7 on football. But I know, as I talk with Brian and Pope regularly, on a scale of one to ten [for importance], that’s a nine and a half right now. So that’s a huge part.”

According to reports, BYU’s conference, the West Coast Conference, is expected to play its usual 16 league games beginning on December 31st. Leaving the Cougars with up to eight non-conference games and one MTE (Legends Classic) to be played in the non-conference slate.

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

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