BYU Basketball Bracketology Projections Vary After WCC Tournament Loss

Mar 6, 2022, 12:25 PM | Updated: 1:13 pm
BYU Basketball - Mark Pope - WCC Tournament...
BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope reacts as the Brigham Young Cougars play the San Francisco Dons in the 2022 West Coast Conference men’s basketball quarterfinals at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 5, 2022. BYU lost 63-75. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

LAS VEGAS – The latest bracketology projections for BYU basketball after a 75-63 loss to San Francisco are a mixed bag.

Building up to Saturday night’s WCC Tournament quarterfinal, it had the makings of a “win, and you’re in” type of feel. But, conversely, a loss would almost assuredly end any hopes of going to the NCAA Tournament, especially in the case of BYU.

But, because BYU played a demanding non-conference schedule –the fourth-best among Top 50 teams in the KenPom ratings– there’s still a sliver of hope for Mark Pope’s squad.

“We played a top-30 toughest schedule in the country,” BYU coach Mark Pope on his case for his team to earn an NCAA Tournament bid. “I think there are four teams that are ranked ahead of us that have played a schedule tougher than us in the non-conference; that matters, or it doesn’t. That takes a toll, also, on a team. So, that would be my first thing. Are we encouraging teams to go out and play the hardest schedule they possibly can in the non-conference, or are we encouraging teams to play a light non-conference schedule? That’s a question that I would ask.”

Bracketologists have different opinions on BYU basketball

CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm updated his bracket projections after BYU’s loss to San Francisco, and he still has the Cougars comfortably in the field of 68. He has BYU as an 11-seed, avoiding the First Four games in Dayton and facing the Alabama Crimson Tide in Buffalo.

Then there’s Joe Lunardi from ESPN. He had BYU as the last team in the field of 68, entering the game against San Francisco. As of Sunday morning, BYU has slid back to team No. 70, the second team outside of the March Madness field.

BYU can only wait and hope that the bubble teams around them see their NCAA hopes pop during conference tournament week. Also, they have to hope no bid-stealers emerge from leagues that are guaranteed to have multiple bids.

If things don’t break BYU’s way during conference week, the postseason result ends up in a spot where BYU hasn’t been in four years, the NIT.

Selection Sunday is one week away on March 13.

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

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