BYU hoping to build on Gonzaga win headed into WCC Tournament

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) – Did BYU play its way into the Big Dance with that shocking 73-70 win over Gonzaga? 

It was a signature win, as it ended the Bulldogs 41-game home winning streak, but the Cougars don’t want it to define their season.

“Everybody deserves to feel good about themselves,” head coach Dave Rose said. “But the biggest challenge for us is to make sure that’s not the highlight of our season. It’s not the end all. We’ve got a lot more to do.”

But was it enough to get BYU into the NCAA Tournament? It’s the Cougars only win over a top-50 RPI team, so they’ll probably have to win at least two games in the WCC Tournament to secure a bid.

“Obviously, I think we’re a tournament team,” said guard Chase Fischer. “I think the Gonzaga game showed that we can beat any team, we can play with any team and we’re a really exciting team to have in the tournament.”

“I feel like we’ve still got a lot to prove,” said leading scorer Tyler Haws. “I feel like we’re an NCAA Tournament team, but we have to prove ourselves in this tournament. I think we will.”

BYU opens the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas Saturday against either Santa Clara or Loyola Marymount. For now, the Cougars are preparing for both teams.

As for all the bracketology experts who either have BYU as one of the last four in or the last four out, the Cougars aren’t paying attention.

“No, not really, because I think you’ll drive yourself crazy thinking about that stuff,” said Fischer. “It’s kind of like trying to please everybody, saying ‘what does this person think about me, or does that person like me or not.’ You’ll just be really stressed out about it.”

A way to relieve the stress? Win three games in Vegas.

“The only way that it works is if you win,” said Rose. “They only way to make sure of things is to win.”

“It’s just a great atmosphere,” added center Corbin Kaufusi. “The whole tournament feeling, everything is just a little bit more intense and at a little higher level. So, I’m excited to go down there.”

If the Cougars win Saturday, the semifinals are Monday with the championship game set for Tuesday night.

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