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Gonzaga Coach Mark Few Wants Everyone To Know How Good BYU Is This Year

Mar 9, 2021, 11:52 PM
Gonzaga - Mark Few - WCC Tournament...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 08: Head coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs looks on as his team takes on the Saint Mary's Gaels during the West Coast Conference basketball tournament semifinals at the Orleans Arena on March 8, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bulldogs defeated the Gaels 78-55. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball fell short to the Gonzaga Bulldogs once again in the WCC Tournament Championship Game. This was the fourth loss for BYU in the title game, and all four setbacks have come against Gonzaga and legendary head coach Mark Few.

Few, who has always been respectful of the BYU program, gave Mark Pope’s BYU squad high praise after the Zags 88-78 victory on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

“This is a great game for us. We got punched in the face,” said Few. “And I hope that everybody took notice, just how good this BYU team is. I mean, they have rim protection in Haarms. They have shooters on the perimeter that are really starting to shoot the ball well and play better. They’ve got excellent ball screen readers and decision-makers in Barcello and Averette. That’s a very, very good basketball team. They pushed us to the brink tonight, and I give them a lot of credit.”

BYU gave Gonzaga everything they could handle

Gonzaga hasn’t been tested much this season or in the past decade, the way BYU pushed them on Tuesday night. The Zags have now won 23 games by double-digits, the most by any team in the past 60 years of college basketball. But when you look at the first half, BYU had a 12-point lead. It was only the fifth time in the last 10 years that Gonzaga faced a double-digit deficit at halftime.

Both Gonzaga and BYU now set their sights on the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis. For the Zags, they are expected to be the number one overall seed in the field. Since Indiana’s undefeated championship season in 1976, Gonzaga is only the fifth team to have a perfect record heading into March Madness.

BYU is a virtual lock for the field. The only question is where they will be seeded. At 20-6 and a strong non-conference resume that is unparalleled in a year where so many teams didn’t step out of conference due to the pandemic, BYU made a compelling case to be a five or six seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Leading up to the WCC Tournament, Bracketologists have had BYU hovering around the 7 or 8-seed range for weeks.

If it were up to Mark Few, he would clearly give BYU a higher seed than the Bracketologists are giving the Cougars.

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 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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