Can the BYU Cougars get in the big dance?

Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 96.7 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at

PROVO – The BYU Cougars go into the West Coast Conference Tournament 24-7 on the season, having finished third in the West Coast Conference.

Are the Cougars ok? Can they lose first round and still get in the NCAA tournament?

Can the Cougars get to the NCAA tournament with a loss in the semifinals to Gonzaga?

Or, do the Cougars have to get to the finals to secure an NCAA tournament at-large bid?

The Cougars’ RPI is 49, which is OK but their Strength of Schedule is 113.

I think the Cougars have to at least get to the finals to get in the big dance. If the Cougars go out in their first round game they will be headed to the NIT, no question about it. If the Cougars make it to the semifinals and lose to Gonzaga, they will have a long wait on Selection Sunday.

For the Cougars to have a good chance to get in the big dance they have to beat Gonzaga and have a good showing Monday night in the finals of the Conference Tournament.

The Cougars start their tournament run at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Friday at 9 p.m., against the winner of the San Diego vs. Pepperdine game. The game can be seen on ESPN U.

If the Cougars win, they advance to take on Gonzaga Saturday night at 8 p.m. That game can beseen on ESPN 2 at 9 p.m.

The Championship game is at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

When the Selection Committee meets a week from Sunday, we will find out if and where the Cougars are going.

The Cougars, of course, can take care of everything by winning the conference tournament and taking the automatic bid to the big dance.

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Twitter:  @BlakesTake

Copyright 2012 St. George News.










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