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Ken Pomeroy: BYU Received ‘Huge Favor’ Matching Up Against Duquesne

Mar 20, 2024, 12:34 AM

BYU Basketball, Ken Pomeroy, NCAA Tournament...

College basketball analytics guru Ken Pomeroy feels the BYU basketball draw in the NCAA Tournament is a good one. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

OMAHA, Neb. – Ken Pomeroy is one of the top minds in college basketball.

Pomeroy, the founder of KenPom.com, has been high on the 2024 edition of BYU basketball before the games tipped off in November.

Entering the season, when everyone had low projections for Mark Pope’s BYU squad. Pomeroy rated BYU No. 36 in his predictive ratings.

So, while many around the country are surprised with how BYU performed in their inaugural Big 12 season, it doesn’t come as a surprise to Pomeroy that BYU is gearing up for an NCAA Tournament matchup this week against Duquesne.

Ken Pomeroy was high on BYU basketball before the season tipped

“Coming off a losing season in the WCC, they brought back everybody,” Pomeroy said on the KSL Sports Zone on Tuesday. The scoring margin numbers in the WCC last year were a lot better than the record. They had the best-ever scoring margin for a team with a losing record in the conference—at least, as long as my data goes back, which is 26 years.”

What surprises Pomeroy is that the Dukes, BYU’s first-round opponent, is an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

On Tuesday, Pomeroy joined Hans Olsen & Scott Garrard (Weekdays, Noon-3 p.m.) on the KSL Sports Zone for a Bracket Special.

Thoughts on BYU’s draw against Duquesne

The analytics guru of college hoops likes BYU’s draw in Omaha.

“I would say BYU was done a huge favor by being given that opponent,” Pomeroy said to Hans & Scotty G.

He continued, “So Duquesne as an 11-seed is a historically weak 11. I mean, they’re weaker than some 12s and 13s in this bracket. So, I know BYU got moved down a seed line to make the bracket work for them. They deserved a five (seed); they got a six. But they were done a huge favor in terms of who their opponent is.”

Heading into Thursday morning’s matchup in Omaha, Nebraska, at the CHI Health Center, BYU rates No. 16 in KenPom’s ratings, while Duquesne is No. 86.

“Duquesne has one of the poorer offenses in the entire tournament. That’s really where they struggle,” said Pomeroy. They are a heavy defensive team, ranked 28th defensively. But 166th on offense is basically an average Division One offense. So, for BYU to draw that is a pretty nice luxury in the first round of the tournament.”

Should BYU be considered a lock to come away with a win in the round of 64?

“It’s not a guaranteed win,” Pomeroy said. “But it’s about as cushy of a draw as you can get for a 6-seed.”

(6) BYU vs. (11) Duquesne

2024 NCAA Tournament – First Round

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Arena: CHI Health Center

Tip-Off: 10:40 a.m. (MT)/11:40 a.m. (CT)

TV: truTV

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM in Utah)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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.

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Ken Pomeroy: BYU Received ‘Huge Favor’ Matching Up Against Duquesne