BYU Women Will Make Big 12 Tournament Debut Against Kansas

Mar 7, 2024, 8:01 PM

BYU women’s basketball is the highest-rated newcomer in the Big 12 this season. The only problem is that the three other newcomers finished in the bottom four of the league.

BYU finished in 10th place in the league standings with a 6-12 record.

BYU women’s basketball takes on Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament

But all of that goes out the door in postseason play.

“I told the girls, 0-0,” said BYU head coach Amber Whiting. “This is what March Madness is for; this is why we build and play and do this all year long.”

BYU, who is 16-15 overall, needs to win the automatic bid from the Big 12 Tournament to earn a spot in the 2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament. Unless the WBIT or WNIT come calling, it’s a win-or-go-home spot for the Cougars at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.

BYU’s first opponent in their debut Big 12 Tournament appearance is against the hometown 7-seed Kansas. The Cougars have faced the Jayhawks two previous times this season. Kansas won both games.

Is the third time the charm for BYU?

“We have to go in having a game plan,” Whiting said. “We can’t just think, ‘Oh, they beat us twice. Now it’s our turn.’ That doesn’t work and that’s not how it always goes. So, just game plan-wise, we need to make sure we’re executing. Then also, across the board, taking pride in one-on-one defense so that we can handle what’s going to be thrown at us by them.”

Pair of First-Team All-Big 12 players in this matchup

BYU will look to slow down heralded Kansas freshman S’Mya Nichols. The former five-star recruit earned First Team All-Big 12 honors this season. In Kansas’ win over BYU in Lawrence on January 31, Nichols had 17 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

But in the matchup in Provo, Nichols was held to a season-low five points against BYU.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BYU Women’s Basketball (@byuwbb)

BYU’s squad also boasts a first-team All-Big 12 player: forward Lauren Gustin. The 6-foot-1 post player leads the country in rebounding.

Amber Whiting would love for BYU to make a postseason run for Gustin and fellow senior Kaylee Smiler as they near the finish line of their college careers.

“It would mean everything,” Whiting said. “The senior night we had here, the girls played really hard for them because they wanted it. They want their first Big 12 Tourney win. That’s where we want to come together to do that.”

BYU women’s basketball vs. Kansas

2024 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament Second Round

Date: Friday, March 8, 2024

Location: T-Mobile Center (Kansas City, Missouri)

Tip: 4:30 p.m. (MT)/5:30 p.m. (CT)

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

Tom Holmoe, BYU Basketball, Royal Blue NIL...

Mitch Harper

Tom Holmoe Promotes BYU’s NIL Collective Amid Basketball Coach Search

BYU athletic director sent a message to fans during the head coach search.

5 hours ago

BYU Softball, Oklahoma Sooners...

Mitch Harper

BYU Softball Pulls Off Upset At No. 2 Oklahoma

BYU softball pulls off a notable upset over No. 2 Oklahoma in Norman.

19 hours ago

Aly Khalifa, BYU Basketball, Transfer Portal...

Mitch Harper

BYU Center Aly Khalifa Enters NCAA Transfer Portal, Per Report

Khalifa played one season with the BYU basketball program.

1 day ago

BYU Basketball, Tom Holmoe, Mark Pope...

Mitch Harper

AD Tom Holmoe Sees BYU Basketball In ‘Position Of Strength’ After Mark Pope

BYU athletic director is leading his third men's basketball head coach search.

1 day ago

BYU Basketball, Dallin Hall, Transfer Portal...

Mitch Harper

BYU Guard Dallin Hall Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

The Honorable Mention All-Big 12 guard has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

1 day ago

Mark Madsen, BYU Basketball, Cal Head Coach...

Mitch Harper

Mark Madsen Cuts BYU Speculation With Commitment To Cal Basketball

BYU can take Mark Madsen off the list of potential head coach candidates.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

BYU Women Will Make Big 12 Tournament Debut Against Kansas