Barring a bunch of underdog teams winning their conference tournaments, I think BYU should be getting ready to put on their dancing shoes. It will be a nerve-racking time in Provo this Selection Sunday, but when all is said and done, I feel the Cougars should get an invite.
I realize the Cougars haven't exactly been giant killers this season. Their highest profile wins are over Gonzaga, Oregon and Virginia Tech,, and their RPI is just 47. But 25 wins is nothing to sneeze at, and the West Coast Conference is a vastly underrated league. Had BYU beaten Gonzaga or St. Mary's one more time, they would be able to relax a little bit this weekend, but I still feel they've done enough to garner a 12-seed. The Cougars may be relegated to a 1st round play-in game, but at this point, they'll take it.
If Noah Hartsock was not healthy enough to play, then the Cougars would be in a lot of trouble. But after his performance at the WCC Tournament, Hartsock proved he is close enough to full strength to make an impact in the Big Dance. With Hartsock's knee OK, Brandon Davies playing the best basketball of his career, and Matt Carlino trying to become a more efficient player, the Cougars are as good as any bubble team out there.
The biggest thing the Cougars have going for them is their recent history, which is taken into account by the selection committee. The Cougars and Kansas Jayhawks are the only two teams in the nation that have put together six straight 25-win seasons. BYU has also made the NCAA Tournament the last five consecutive years, and after battling through several key injuries and still putting up a record of 25-8, the Cougars deserve to make it six.
We'll see if the selection committee agrees on Sunday. Until then, happy sweating, Cougar fans.