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BYU Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Features Six NCAA Tourney Teams

BYU basketball guard Alex Barcello gets out on the run against Pacific on January 30th, 2021. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – The 2021-22 BYU basketball schedule for non-conference schedule has officially dropped. BYU will open the regular season against Cleveland State at the Marriott Center on November 9.

BYU will face six teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last season. Those teams are Cleveland State, San Diego State (Nov. 12 in Provo), Oregon (Nov. 16 in Portland), Texas Southern (Nov. 24 in Provo), Utah State (Dec. 8 in Provo), and Creighton (Dec. 11 in Sioux Falls).

Scheduling as a member of the West Coast Conference has become a tall order for Mark Pope and his program. Last week, BYU received an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference, but that era of Cougar hoops doesn’t begin until 2023.

One of BYU coach Mark Pope’s goals has been to land a blueblood to come to the Marriott Center. They’ve offered two-for-ones or even three-for-ones for the chance to host an elite team out of league in Provo. Unfortunately for Pope and BYU’s director of scheduling Nick Robinson, scheduling has been a tall order as a member of the WCC. They’ll have plenty of top-shelf programs from the Big 12 rolling through the MC, but until then, the great programs are few and far between in Provo.

BYU will have two games against non-division I programs in Central Methodist (NAIA) and Westminster (Division II).

But there’s no shortage of quality teams on the 2021-22 schedule. Cleveland State won the Horizon League Tournament last season. Texas Southern has consistently been atop the SWAC, and Missouri State was a Top 100 in the NET rankings last season.

Mark Pope is entering his third season as head coach of the BYU basketball program. Last season, BYU played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. The Cougars received a 6-seed before falling to Final Four participant UCLA in the first round.

BYU will be led by “super senior” Alex Barcello, who decided to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pope’s staff was also active in the Transfer Portal, landing Milwaukee grad transfer Te’Jon Lucas to team up with Barcello in the backcourt and LSU/San Jose State undergrad transfer Seneca Knight.

BYU Basketball Schedule for Non-Conference in 2021-22

Nov. 4 – Colorado Christian (Exhibition)

Nov. 9 – Cleveland State

Nov. 12 – San Diego State

Nov. 16 – vs. Oregon (Portland)

Nov. 20 – Central Methodist

Nov. 24 – Texas Southern

Nov. 27 – at Utah

Dec. 1 – at UVU

Dec. 4 – at Missouri State

Dec. 8 – Utah State

Dec. 11 – vs. Creighton (Sioux Falls)

Dec. 18 – at Weber State

Dec. 22-25 – Diamond Head Classic

Dec. 22 – vs. South Florida

Dec. 23 – vs. Vanderbilt/Hawaii

Dec. 25 – TBD

Dec. 29 – Westminster

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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