BYU Basketball’s Big Dance Chances
What are BYU’s chances to go to the Big Dance at this juncture in the season? After the losses to Pepperdine and St. Mary’s, to be simple, not very good. Here’s why;
As of this Monday, January 19th, ESPN’s Bracketology has the WCC with only ONE team going dancing, Gonzaga, as a 2 seed. St. Mary’s, the 2nd place team in the WCC not even projected at this point to be in the dance. Lunardi has quite the proven track record of accuracy when it comes to his projections and who gets in. However, there is a lot of basketball to be played, but still, it looks bleak at this poing.
Is the WCC a three-bid league? A two-bid league? Since BYU joined the WCC in 2011, the WCC has been a 3-bid league only one time, and that was in 2012. In 2013 the WCC was a 2-bid league with BYU going to the NIT, and in 2014 the WCC was a 2-bid league.
It’s safe to say the WCC is considered a 2-bid league, with usually 2 teams as a lock of getting in. Before BYU joined the WCC, Gonzaga and St. Mary’s were regulars in going to the NCAA tourney. Since BYU joined, BYU and St. Mary’s seem to switch off who gets the 2nd bid, the other of the two going to the NIT tournament as a consolation prize.
BYU currently stands at 15-6 (5-3 WCC) and is 4th in the WCC behind Pepperdine, St. Mary’s, and Gonzaga respectively. BYU has an updated RPI ranking of 50th and a BPI ranking of 33rd (as of Jan. 19, 2015) which isn’t bad all things considered. BYU’s best wins are against Stanford who is 28th in the RPI, 38th in the BPI, and UMass who is 58th in the RPI, 99th in the BPI.
BYU, sitting at 4th in the WCC will definitely not go dancing, but what about if BYU finished 3rd place in the WCC? Will it be enough to get into the Big Dance? I say no. But some may disagree. I think BYU needs to finish 2nd in the WCC to secure a place in the Big Dance.
That aside, if BYU can get hot come WCC tournament time, the winner of the it gets an auto-bid, so there’s always hope, even if bleak, it’s hope indeed.
Photo Courtesy of universe.byu.edu