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Eye on the Y: What does BYU have to do to win the WCC tournament?

Even if the Cougars don’t win the title, it’ll be a win-win situation if they can get themselves to the championship game.

(Isaac Hale | Special to The Tribune) Brigham Young University guard Brandon Averette (4) drives the ball up the court during a game between the BYU Cougars and the Saint Mary’s College of California Gaels held at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.

I know last year people thought it might finally be the year the Cougars win their first West Coast Conference tournament, but that didn’t transpire. So, can BYU do it this time around?

First, second-seeded BYU will need to get to the championship game. That means getting through either No. 3 Pepperdine, No. 6 Pacific, No. 7 Santa Clara or No. 10 Portland. (My money is on it being either Pepperdine or Pacific in the semis against BYU).

Then comes the real challenge: No. 1 Gonzaga.

If the Cougars hope to provide any real challenge to the Zags, they will need to play their best, cleanest game of the season. BYU can’t afford to have as many turnovers as it’s been having this season and definitely can’t afford to be a second-half team with Gonzaga.

The Cougars will need to pounce early and repeatedly to put up their best fight against the Zags.

At best, BYU may pull off the impossible and defeat the last remaining undefeated team. At worst, the Cougars fall to the best team in the country.

Just by getting to the WCC championship game, there’s no losing for BYU.

The Cougars will still make their return to the NCAA Tournament and continue their postseason goals. But if they manage to give Gonzaga a hard time — or even beat the Zags — it would be the cherry on top of a season that almost didn’t happen and was threatened multiple times.

There’s plenty more where that came from. To read Norma’s entire Eye on Y newsletters, subscribe here:


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