BYU Upset At SDSU Marks Rare Win Against Top 25 Non-Conference Team

Dec 18, 2020, 7:02 PM
BYU Basketball - Mark Pope...
Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball defeated No. 18 San Diego State on Friday, 72-62. The win was big for BYU for this season and their pursuit of an NCAA Tournament bid. But also from a historical perspective of the program.

Friday’s win over the Aztecs in Viejas Arena was BYU’s first win in non-conference play against a Top 25 team in 13 years. Before the upset over the Aztecs, BYU’s last victory over a Top 25 team outside of conference play was 2007 against No. 6 Louisville.

BYU Basketball: Last win against Top 25 team in true road venue

The win against Rick Pitino’s Louisville squad was a neutral floor victory played at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. When was the last time BYU won on a nationally-ranked non-conference opponent’s home floor? Go back to November 1981, when BYU defeated No. 2 UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.

A true road win against a nationally-ranked team, those opportunities are few and far between, and to get a victory, that’s a big accomplishment for Mark Pope’s program.

The win over the Aztecs isn’t Mark Pope and BYU’s first taste of victory over a nationally-ranked team. BYU defeated No. 2 Gonzaga on a memorable senior night last February. The Cougars have six wins over a nationally-ranked Zags team since joining the WCC in 2011.

BYU also has neutral floor non-conference wins over the years against Oklahoma State (2003, 1994), Stanford (2001), Oklahoma (1992), Pitt (1986), Notre Dame (1986), and Washington (1984).

With Friday’s win over San Diego State, BYU now improves to 7-2 on the season with two non-conference games remaining. The Cougars will play a pair of holiday games against Texas Southern on Monday and then in-state foe Weber State on Wednesday, December 23 at Vivint Arena.

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 and the KSL Sports app.

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