BYU Looking for their NCAA Tournament Slot

Just recently, BYU pulled out a very impressive victory against No.3 ranked Gonzaga to close the regular season. This win was monumental for the Cougars in the way that it helped boost their credibility and makes critics review them twice before deciding whether or not they belong in the NCAA Tournament. Despite their 23-8 record, in order to really gain a grasp of how BYU has played this season, you must look at the numbers. BYU has not lost a single game by more than 7 points all season. This is very impressive considering they had one of the 20 hardest schedules in all of College Basketball. They had a very narrow 6 point loss to a highly ranked Utah team, a 7 point loss to Gonzaga earlier in the year, and a couple more overtime losses to San Diego State and Purdue, both above 100 RPI teams. Breaking it down into the players on the team, we see some extraordinary talent that has led the BYU team to be the best offensive teams in the countries, able to bring games up to 80 points regularly. They have Kyle Collinsworth, who just set an NCAA record by getting an amazing 5 triple-doubles this year, and just barely missing it countless other times this season. Tyler Haws had a season that had him as one of the nation’s leading scorers and averaging over 22 points a night. Chase Fischer may be one of the streakier shooters in basketball, but when he gets going, he’ll never miss and just keep letting them rain. BYU’s only flaw this season was their defense after they lost their interior defender, Nate Austin, to a season-long injury. But let’s bring it back to what has been called the best win of Dave Rose’s career. They took down one of the top teams in the country, currently on a 22 game win streak. Gonzaga was playing at home, where they hadn’t lost a game in their last 41 attempts. BYU showed it could pull out some defense when it really mattered, forcing the Bulldogs to shoot a meager 43%, when the team has had a NCAA leading season with a 52% average. BYU has shown they can step up to the pressure, and fight in games that really matter, and keep it close, and maybe even pull out a win. With how strong this team is, a NCAA Tournament slot should be expected, and an upset wouldn’t be a huge shock for a team that can leave it all on the floor.


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