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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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Checking in with the bracketologists on BYU

Of the most prominent bracketologists out there, Jerry Palm of cbssports.com seems to have the highest opinion of the BYU basketball team as it sits on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Palm has the Cougars as a No. 10 seed, playing Notre Dame in Louisville. He's got WCC tournament champion St. Mary's as a No. 6 seed and Gonzaga as a No. 7.

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Then there's Andy Glockner of Sports Illustrated, who has BYU as the last team in the tournament as of right now (Thursday morning). He has BYU in one of those "First Four" play-in games in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday.

We brought you some of ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi's thoughts on BYU on Wednesday. He's got the Cougars as a No. 12 seed, too, but not playing in Dayton on Tuesday. Lunardi has the Cougars in Portland, playing No. 5 Temple. The Cougars would love that, I'm guessing.

Shawn Siegel of collegehoops.net is not as well known as the aforementioned, but over the last four years he is ranked as the country's No. 1 bracketologist, according to the Bracket Project. Siegel gave me some thoughts on BYU's chances on Wednesday.

"BYU's WCC Tournament showing definitely didn't help because neutral isn't good enough in March. Other teams can jump by while BYU can only wait. Just look at UCONN's two wins in the Big East Tournament so far, those wins will be fresh on the committee's mind. It would help BYU if teams like Nevada and Oregon, who they beat in non-conference play, had good showings this week," Siegel said.

Also, Siegel said that BYU's no-play-on-Sunday policy won't have an effect on its NCAA chances.

"Anyone who says it will is just creating a conspiracy," he said.

The Cougars are keeping an eye on that all-important RPI this week, even while they are not playing. They dropped from 45 to 46 recently, with Nevada moving ahead of them at No. 45. Of course, the Cougars pounded Nevada in Chicago in November, but now BYU wants Nevada to keep winning, along with Oregon, so the Ducks and Wolfpack stay in the top-50.

BYU is 3-5 against RPI top 50 teams, and 5-6 against RPI top 100 teams.

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I was a guest on this podcast with Adam Mangum earlier this week. Give it a listen.

Also, check out this website put together by some BYU fans that tracks the Cougars' football roster and the comings-and-goings of all the players.



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