NCAA announces contingency plan to prevent BYU playing on a Sunday, should the Cougars make it to the Sweet 16

The East Region dates for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight would be switched with the Midwest Region’s dates.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars forward Caleb Lohner (33) draws a foul as he collides with Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2), in West Coast Conference Basketball action between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Marriott Center in Provo, on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

BYU has dealt with scheduling issues in the NCAA Tournament in the past, but it seems it won’t have to this time around.

With the way the NCAA Tournament is currently scheduled, the Cougars are set to play in the first round on Saturday. If they win, they would play Monday. Should they advance to the next game, that’s where it gets a little tricky.

BYU, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, doesn’t compete on Sundays per its Honor Code. It doesn’t even hold team practices.

The East Region bracket would have BYU play a Sweet 16 game on a Sunday, March 28. However, unlike previous years, the committee is prepared this time around.

The NCAA has announced a contingency plan that would swap the East and Midwest regions’ playing date — but only if BYU advances to the Sweet 16. The last time the Cougars made it that deep in the NCAA Tourney was in 2011.

The contingency plan would switch out the East teams’ schedule of playing their Sweet 16 on March 28 (Sunday) and Elite Eight on March 30 (Tuesday) for the Midwest region’s dates of March 27 and March 29 (Saturday and Monday).

So far this season, BYU has had to play on a Monday — following a day with no practices — a couple of times. It’s provided mixed results (a loss at Gonzaga and an overtime win over Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference semifinal), but it’s been an obstacle the Cougars had no way around.

“That contingency will only be utilized in the event that BYU were to advance to the Sweet 16,” Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s men’s basketball vice president, said on NCAA.com. “If they do not, then there would be no change to dates for any teams for regionals.”