WARNING: This article has been infected by COVID-19 but you can still read to see where BYU was projected to be seeded had the tournament not been cancelled. After reading you may need to self-quarantine and read some of our other previous articles.
After losing in the semifinals against Saint Mary’s BYU should still get a decent seed in the tournament. Where they get seeded though is still to be determined. Let’s look at the ideal possibilities for the Cougars.
BYU still ranks high going into selection Sunday. Here is where they rank among the elite bracketologists:
AP Top 25: The Cougars moved up a spot to 14th in the AP poll shortly before losing to the Gaels. Even after this loss they should still be considered a Top 25 team and perhaps the selection committee will agree when they do the seeding.
NET: BYU is still 9th in the NET rating. Per NCAA.com,“The NCAA Evaluation Tool, which will be known as the NET, relies on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.” BYU still fares well in this too and that should help their portfolio when reviewed by the selection committee.
KenPom: BYU is currently rated 13th in KenPom. Ken Pommeroy resides in Salt Lake City and is highly regarded in the bracketology community for the in-depth statistics to back up his archive of NCAA basketball rankings dating back to 2002. Ken doesn’t have BYU as high as NET but his statistics still support BYU as a strong team in the tournament.
The Andy Katz: BYU fell to 17 in the latest Power 36 by Andy Katz. Mr. Katz is a college basketball analyst for the Big 10 network and also represents the NCAA as a college basketball correspondent. The Cougars were recently ranked 12th but with other teams catching fire it was hard for BYU to stay in front even before the Saint Mary’s loss. Expect Katz to still have BYU in his Top 25 by selection Sunday.
ESPN Mock Bracket: Following the loss on Monday, BYU was still projected to be a 5 seed and play 12 seed Yale in the first round. Yale earned an auto bid for winning the regular season as the Ivy League canceled their conference tournament due to the recent outbreak of the Corona Virus.
Known as “Joey Brackets” Lunardi has the Cougars playing this game in Spokane, Washington. Since several cases in the Evergreen State have already been confirmed, Yale might still have to worry about the virus. With groups of large people being discouraged, the NCAA might be looking at limiting the size of the crowds to friends and family only.
If BYU has this matchup it will be a fun athletic competition between two schools with academic prowess. Hopefully the Cougars perform better than they did the last time in Spokane when Gonzaga beat them by 23. The Cougars would definitely want to take this game seriously. The Ivy League hasn’t had a tournament win since 2014 when Harvard beat Cincinnati in the Round of 64. However, there have been plenty of close games. They don’t call it March Madness for nothing. Even the top seeds can be vulnerable as we saw when the overall top seed Virginia lost to a 16 seed UMBC in the first round two years ago.
If BYU is a 5 seed they better watch out because there are some sneaky good 12 seeds from smaller conferences that have made this one of the 5 vs 12 matchup one of the most popular upsets for bracketologists to pick.
CBS Sports Mock Bracket: In this bracket BYU is projected to be the 6 seed and play the winner of Rutgers and UCLA which is projected to be a play-in game. BYU beat UCLA earlier this year in the Maui Invitational but the Bruins have been a lot better since then. This game is projected to be in the Albany location of the West bracket so this would be a good chance for BYU fans out East to watch the Cougars play.
The Hive Sports Prediction: Ideally we would like to see BYU play close to home since more fans would be able to watch their team play. However, due to the scare of the Coronavirus, the NCAA is banning the tournament games to the public. Only family members and necessary personnel may attend.
With the loss to Saint Mary’s it appears that a 6 seed is more likely even though their ratings make them deserving of maybe a 4 seed. A 5 seed appears to be the ceiling and the worst case scenario might be a 7 depending on what happens with other teams.
The closest locations out West are Spokane, Washington and Sacramento, California. Other close locations in the Midwest are Omaha, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri.
We think BYU will be a 5 seed in the Midwest Region and play a tough 12 seed in East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers had a big upset over LSU earlier in the year and could be a tough one for BYU. This game would be played in St. Louis Missouri. It’s a State with a lot of church history for family members of the players to visit.
No matter what happens it’s a huge step for the Beehive State to have at least two teams in the tournament. That hasn’t happened since 2016 when both Utah and Weber State made it. The blue and white of BYU and Utah State will represent the state well and hopefully get some wins in the biggest basketball tournament in America: The Big Dance.