Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
BYU's Brock Zylstra drives past Gonzaga's Guy Landry Edi during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the West Coast Conference tournament on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Kragthorpe: BYU fans should root against these teams

First Published Mar 05 2012 09:35 am • Last Updated Mar 06 2012 09:27 pm

If this were Selection Monday, the BYU Cougars undoubtedly would receive an NCAA Tournament bid.

So all they have do this week is play some defense.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

There’s nothing the Cougars (25-7) can do to enhance their own credentials, having lost to Gonzaga in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament. But this will be an agonizing week for BYU fans, who have to cheer for the favorites in various conference tournaments. Only a flurry of upsets could add unexpected teams to the NCAA field and dislodge BYU.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has credibility in forecasting the 68-team field. So when BYU is not among his "last four in," that’s a healthy sign for the Cougars. The only variable is having upset winners of conference tournaments grab automatic bids, while other members of those leagues take at-large selections.

There’s no need to worry about the one-bid leagues, such as the Western Athletic Conference, the Big Sky or the Summit League. If Utah State, Weber State and Southern Utah won their tournaments, they would merely replace the teams they beat.

It’s different elsewhere.

These are the main tournaments BYU fans need to monitor this week, cheering against the following teams that are capable of stealing bids:

• Atlantic 10: Dayton or St. Joseph’s.

• ACC: Miami or North Carolina State.

• Pac-12: Arizona or Oregon.


story continues below
story continues below

• SEC: Tennessee.

Obviously, other teams could come out of nowhere (Utah, anyone?) to qualify, but those seven appear to have genuine chances of winning or potentially getting the committee’s attention by reaching a championship game.

BYU is in very good shape, by all accounts, but the Cougars are not quite positioned where they have nothing to worry about this week.

As I wrote last week, this team has responded well to the loss of Jimmer Fredette and deserves an NCAA bid. Dave Rose has done another nice coaching job, particularly after losing associate head coach Dave Rice to UNLV, where Rice also has thrived.

Rice’s Rebels certainly are in the NCAA field, regardless of what happens in the Mountain West tournament — so Cougar fans can cheer for UNLV, even as a No. 3 seed.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.