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BYU Basketball’s 2021-22 WCC Schedule Begins On New Year’s Day

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 09: Alex Barcello #13 of the Brigham Young Cougars drives against Aaron Cook #4 of 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)

PROVO, Utah – The first domino in the 2021-22 BYU basketball schedule has dropped as the WCC released the league schedule for the upcoming season.

BYU will begin their 11th season in the West Coast Conference on a holiday when they travel to face the Portland Pilots on New Year’s Day.

Mark Pope’s program then returns home to Provo for their league home opener against Pacific on January 6, followed by a big tilt against the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Saturday, January 8. Last year, BYU swept the Gaels for only the second time since joining the WCC.

BYU/Gonzaga games

After playing Saint Mary’s, BYU then has another marquee league game on January 13 when they travel to The Kennel to face National Runner-Up Gonzaga. The Zags loaded up their roster again, headlined by adding the nation’s No. 1 recruit in Chet Holmgren.

Gonzaga makes their return visit to Provo on Saturday, February 5.

Both BYU/Gonzaga games last season were moved up earlier than expected. The Zags won both contests. BYU’s last victory against Gonzaga was in 2020.

First trip to Santa Clara in the Mark Pope era

This is the fourth season that the WCC has incorporated a 16-game league schedule. BYU will face Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, and San Francisco twice. While playing San Diego and Santa Clara once.

The one matchup with the Toreros will take place in Provo on Thursday, January 20. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since February 15th, 2020. Last year’s meetings were both canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Toreros program.

BYU’s road trip to Santa Clara on January 27 will be the first visit to the Leavey Center in the Mark Pope era. The last time BYU visited Santa Clara was on January 13, 2018. Santa Clara has annually been one of the teams BYU only faces one time a year since the league switched to a 16-game schedule.

BYU Basketball has been a consistent winner in the WCC

Since joining the West Coast Conference in the 2011-12 season, BYU has won at least 10 regular season league games each year they’ve been in the conference. Including last season, where BYU won 10 games in a shortened conference schedule that saw the Cougars only play 13 league games due to league foes experiencing COVID issues.

BYU closes out the league schedule on Saturday, February 26, at the Marriott Center when they host the Pepperdine Waves. Pepperdine and BYU had some battles last season that included an overtime thriller in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas last March.

BYU lost the WCC’s Defensive Player of the Year in Matt Haarms, who is now pursuing a professional career in Germany. But the Cougars retooled, adding Alex Barcello for a super senior year and landing transfers Te’Jon Lucas and Seneca Knight out of the Transfer Portal.

BYU has not released its non-conference schedule yet.

BYU 2021-22 WCC Men’s Basketball Schedule

Jan. 1 – at Portland

Jan. 6 – PACIFIC

Jan. 8 – SAINT MARY’S

Jan. 13 – at Gonzaga

Jan. 15 – at San Francisco

Jan. 20 – SAN DIEGO

Jan. 22 – PORTLAND

Jan. 27 – at Santa Clara

Jan. 29 – at Pacific

Feb. 3 – SAN FRANCISCO

Feb. 5 – GONZAGA

Feb. 10 – at LMU

Feb. 12 – at Pepperdine

Feb. 19 – at Saint Mary’s

Feb. 24 – LMU

Feb. 26 – PEPPERDINE

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 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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