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BYU Basketball Set For Toughest Stretch Since Danny Ainge Era

Jan 16, 2024, 1:56 PM | Updated: 1:57 pm

PROVO, Utah – Everyone around BYU basketball knew the inaugural season in the Big 12 would be more demanding than anything the program has experienced.

Despite the high expectations, the Big 12 is more of a gauntlet than anyone expected.

BYU basketball is set to face three consecutive ranked opponents

The Big 12 has eight teams in this week’s AP Top 25 poll. One of those teams is BYU, who dropped two spots down to No. 20.

The two teams BYU faces this week are both ranked: Iowa State (No. 24) and Texas Tech (No. 25).

Next Tuesday, BYU hosts Houston, who is No. 5 in this week’s ranking and will likely be ranked next week. So that means BYU will have three consecutive opponents against Top 25 teams.

That hasn’t happened since Danny Ainge was playing at BYU.

The last time that happened was in the 1981 NCAA Tournament

You have to go back to BYU’s lone Elite Eight appearance in the 1981 NCAA Tournament to find the last time BYU played three straight-ranked teams. In that tournament, it was No. 10 UCLA in the second round, No. 7 Notre Dame in the Sweet 16, and then No. 5 Virginia in the Elite Eight.

BYU faces three consecutive ranked teams in a regular season for the first time in program history.

The last time BYU had back-to-back ranked conference opponents on the schedule was during the 1-25 season in 1997 when they faced No. 13 New Mexico and No. 5 Utah.

BYU in the Big 12

BYU enters this three-game stretch of ranked foes with a 13-3 record overall, 1-2 in Big 12 play.

During Big 12 play, BYU is averaging 65 points per game while allowing 70 to its league opponents. BYU leads the league in three-point field goals made in conference with 10.3

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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Set For Toughest Stretch Since Danny Ainge Era