Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Case for...BYU

As we enter the madness of March and the current Championship week, there are still some teams being slighted or expected to be slighted by the committee come Selection Sunday.  The most obvious being Murray State who lost the OVC (Ohio Valley Championship) to Belmont at the weekend, and despite having 27 wins may well miss out.

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Whereas, you look at Brigham Young Cougars, currently 25-8 before this evening's WCC championship game versus Gonzaga; and the team have to win to be guaranteed an automatic bid  in case the resume comes up short for an at-large bid.

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This strikes me as silly, that a team that like BYU is even being considered to be left out of the tournament. The tournament needs teams like BYU who can mix it with the big boys of the powerhouse conferences and play without fear.

This season BYU are
- 2nd in the nation with points per game scored - 83.8
- 5th in the nation with assists per game - 17.0
- 16th in the nation with rebounds per game - 38.4

In contrast they are ranked 306th nationally on points allowed (72.0) but at least the game they are involved in will have points in it, making for more possessions, high tempo scoring and excitement during the early rounds of tournament play.

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Tyler Haws - 22.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.2apg

They have a great mixture of experience in senior Tyler Haws who is averaging 22.1ppg and junior Kyle Collinsworth the triple double machine who has had 6 for the season - 13.5ppg, 8.7rpg, 5.9apg.

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Kyle Collinsworth - 13.5ppg, 8.7rpg, 5.9apg

Yes they have 8 losses (twice to Pepperdine who went 10-8 in the WCC) but the first four were to at large teams in the tournament - San Diego, Purdue, Utah and the Zags. Following the second loss at Pepperdine on February 5th, they have reeled off 8 consecutive wins including the road win at Gonzaga by an average of 13.8 points.  The closest game was in the first round against Santa Clara which they won 78-76 but Tyler Haws stepped up with 30 points for the win.

They are winning by landslides but they are winning tight games which will be a regular occurence in the tournament, they have a desire to succeed and if they win the WCC they will be a team that people will want to avoid in the bracket due to the high possession, high percentage shot making and interior presence of Collinsworth.

The case for BYU is made.  The committee need to make it happen.

Follow me @JamieGarwood

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