Does BYU deserve to be relegated to a play-in game or not? Where did you expect them to land in post season play?
Matt – As I mentioned above, I believe this is a fair draw for the Cougars. Playing Iona is a tall order for the Cougars though. I’ll defer to the last question for my thoughts on this game. I was hopeful for a slightly better draw, maybe a 13 or 12 seed against a former MWC colleague, but the St. Bonaventure auto bid sort of made this seeding what it is.
Carl – To answer the second part first, I think we all had a little shock when we saw the Cougars playing the opening round game. I was hoping for a 12 seed, obviously not playing on Tuesday. But BYU is the perfect reason to have the opening round games. The eye test for BYU’s last 10 games suggests that BYU wasn’t faring well against the top of the WCC. Moreover, BYU was 2-5 against the top half of the WCC, with all five losses coming by an average of 15 points. Without being able to justify those ugly losses with a signature win or two, it’s pretty easy to see the Selection Committee’s ability to put the Cougars in this position.
David – No. With St. Mary’s and Gonzaga both pulling a 7 seed, I would have expected at least a 12 or 13 seed.
If you could choose your “best” option for BYU this season, would you rather they be in this play-in game in the NCAA Tournament or be in the NIT with a potential #1 seed in that tournament with several potential home games for the Cougars? Why?
Matt – Of course, hindsight is 20-20 and going into Sunday’s Selection Show I would have said the NCAA, but after seeing the Cougars draw for a 14 seed play-in game, I’d prefer to see my Cougars playing in the NIT. I think multiple post-season games, especially at home, would have been more beneficial to the younger Cougars than a potential one-and-done scenario they face on Tuesday.
Carl – The NIT actually stands for the Not Invited Tournament. Nuff said, I’d rather have them in March Madness . . . even if they do lose on Tuesday instead of Thursday.
David – Even if they beat Iona, a win against Marquette is a tall order. It is nice to pad the tourney visit stat, but I think they would have been better served playing NIT where they would have run the show.
Predict the final score tomorrow against Iona.
Matt – This game is going to be high energy, up-tempo, and not feature a lot of great defense, though BYU’s is better by a bit. Both teams use a lot of possessions per game, with Iona topping the 80 possessions per game something like six times this season (BYU had three I think.) Iona is the top scoring team in the nation by more than five points per game over BYU. They have a high energy guard that has faced BYU twice as a member of the Arizona Wildcats named Scott Machado. However, BYU has a huge advantage in the paint because the Gaels don’t have a player over 6’7” on the roster which should allow Hartsock (should he go) and Davies to dominate the paint. Hopefully, it will allow some seriously open windows for BYU’s long-range shooters to knock down some shots. BYU is a better rebounding and defensive team, but turns it over more. I have flip-flopped on this result more than John Kerry did in 2004 but I am settling with my Cougars getting the win in Dayton, Ohio – 73-67.
Carl – BYU-81 Iona-75. . . . Since nobody asked about a keys to the game; 1st – Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies need to score 50 or more together and play 35 + minutes with no foul trouble. 2nd – BYU needs to hold Iona to less than 40% shooting and less than 35% from 3. 3rd – BYU needs to be +15 in rebounding and at least +10 in second chance points.
David – 78-74 BYU