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BYU Basketball Could Cause NCAA Tournament Schedule Changes If They Make Deep Run

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON - JANUARY 07: Corey Kispert #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs controls the ball against Matt Haarms #3 of the BYU Cougars in the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center on January 07, 2021 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Finding the spot for BYU basketball in the NCAA Tournament used to be a lot trickier due to their No Sunday play rule. Remember in 2003, when BYU was paired up with UConn and had the Cougars advanced to the Sweet 16; they would have moved to an entirely new region?

None of that happens today as the selection process is all computerized. But BYU’s no Sunday rule still creates some juggling with the NCAA Tournament schedule. This year, the entire tournament takes place in one city, Indianapolis, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Potential NCAA Tournament Schedule Changes if BYU goes to Sweet 16

According to San Jose Mercury News reporter Jon Wilner, the NCAA Selection Committee will honor BYU’s policy of not playing on Sundays. If BYU makes a run to the Sweet 16, regional games on the left side of the bracket (West and East regions) will have their Sweet 16 games played on Saturday, March 27, instead of March 28.

The Midwest and South regions would then play their Sweet 16 games on Sunday, March 28th. This potential scheduling change would leave teams in the West Regional with four days off before the Sweet 16, and the South region would have six off days.

For all of this to happen, BYU will need to get past Michigan State or UCLA in their Saturday First Round game at Hinkle Fieldhouse, then a second-round Monday matchup with either 3-seed Texas or 14-seed Abilene Christian.

In the last 40 years, BYU has appeared in the Sweet 16 twice. Both of those years came with the Cougars boasting National Players of the Years in Danny Ainge (1981) and Jimmer Fredette (2011).

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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