BYU’s tournament hopes erased after loss
by Patrick Stevens, USA TODAY Sports
There’s one departure from the Bubble Tracker thanks to Thursday’s results, and it’s a team that hadn’t done much to be there in the first place.
That would be Brigham Young (20-9), a 64-57 loser at Saint Mary’s in a game that created further separation between second and third place in the West Coast Conference.
The Cougars are 0-3 against the top 50 in the RPI and just 3-7 against the top 100. They’ve lost to sub-.500 San Diego and San Francisco and have just six victories over teams in the top 150.
Still, they had slim at-large hopes largely because second shots at Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga still loomed. With its best victory of the season (based on the RPI) coming on the first day of the season against Tennessee State, the Cougars didn’t have any realistic wiggle room left in their at-large hopes.
It’s gone now, even with Gonzaga’s visit to Provo coming up Thursday before BYU’s regular-season finale at Loyola Marymount.
The Cougars have appeared in six consecutive NCAA tournaments, winning at least one game in the last three postseasons. The only way those impressive streaks can possibly continue is if BYU can rattle off victories on three specific dates in one particular setting: March 8, 9 and 11 in the WCC tournament in Las Vegas.
As for other borderline teams on Thursday: