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Where BYU Basketball Fits In NCAA Tournament 2021 — Here’s What To Know

Mar 13, 2021, 10:22 PM | Updated: 10:26 pm
Mark Pope - BYU Basketball - Tournament...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 09: Assistant coach Nick Robinson (L) and head coach Mark Pope of the Brigham Young Cougars look on as their team takes on the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the championship game of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on March 9, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bulldogs defeated the Cougars 88-78. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – After a six-year drought that included a global pandemic taking away a tournament, BYU basketball is expected to hear its name called in the 2021 NCAA Tournament field.

Its been a long time for a program that holds the dubious honor of being the school with the most appearances without a Final Four (29). They’ll look to change that in 2021.

Where does BYU fit in the 2021 NCAA Tournament? Here’s what we know heading into Selection Sunday.

Where will BYU land in the NCAA Tournament 2021?

One thing we know for sure going into Sunday’s Selection Show is that BYU will be on the left side of the bracket. BYU ends up on the bracket’s left side because all of the first-round games will be played on Saturday, March 20th. The Cougars aren’t able to play on Friday of the first round due to their No Sunday play rule.

The bottom left regional is believed to be the likely landing spot for BYU in the field of 68. A big reason is that Gonzaga is assumed to be the number one overall seed when the bracket is revealed. They will take the top line in the upper left regional. Typically the selection committee looks to prevent conference teams from being in the same region, especially if they’ve already played three times. If BYU does end up in Gonzaga’s region, the committee will look to avoid that rematch until the Elite Eight, which would lend itself to BYU likely falling into the six or seven-seed range.

What seed?

BYU has moved up to the 6-seed line, according to Bracket Matrix. Bracket Matrix compiles all of the major Bracketology projections out there, and the average for the Cougars from 135 brackets has them at a 6-seed.

Three different bracketology projections have BYU as high as a 3-seed. One projection by a Bracketologist named Mike Reagan has BYU checking in as a No. 10 seed. If BYU ends up as a double-digit seed, it would be a big surprise.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has BYU as a 6-seed facing Michigan State in his latest bracket.

Unique Year

The city of Indianapolis, Indiana, will host every game in this year’s NCAA Tournament. With everyone playing in the same city to avoid travel amidst the pandemic, dates for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds will not be determined until second-round games have concluded. What that means heading into Selection Sunday is that BYU has a lot of flexibility regarding seeds in the bottom left region of the bracket.

BYU Basketball: NCAA Tournament Resume

Record: 20-6

NET ranking: 20

KenPom: 23

BPI: 29

Sagarin Rating: 26

KPI: 12

Opponent Average NET ranking: 112

Average NET win: 138

Average NET loss: 30

Strength of Schedule: 34

Non-Conference Strength of Schedule: 9

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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Where BYU Basketball Fits In NCAA Tournament 2021 — Here’s What To Know