Questions aplenty after WCC introduces new tournament seeding metric heading down the homestretch

Pacific Tigers guard Daniss Jenkins (4) drives against Brigham Young Cougars guard Alex Barcello (13) and guard Brandon Averette (4) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021.

Pacific Tigers guard Daniss Jenkins drives against BYU guards Alex Barcello (13) and Brandon Averette (4) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. The Cougars, who prevailed in double overtime in Provo earlier this season, will take another crack at the Tigers Thursday night, this time at their place. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

With only three regular-season games remaining on the schedule, the Cougars can’t afford another loss as it pushes toward an NCAA Tournament bid

It’s been 10 days since BYU played a game — a home loss against No. 1 Gonzaga — and the Cougars have played just two games in the month of February due to COVID-related postponements and cancellations.

How will BYU respond after the long layoff when it returns to the court Thursday (6 p.m., MST, CBS SN) at Pacific?

Not only are the Cougars trying to avoid being a little rusty after just two games in 18 days, but the last time they played the Tigers, it was a battle. BYU survived 95-87 in double overtime at the Marriott Center on Jan. 30.

Seniors Alex Barcello, Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms combined for 60 points to lead the Cougars.

“We barely escaped in double overtime. It was a really exciting game, a really hard-fought game,” coach Mark Pope said during his coaches show Tuesday night. “A game where fatigue started to play a part because it went on and it was so competitive. We get to run it back at their place.”

With only three regular-season games remaining, including a game Saturday at Loyola Marymount, the Cougars can’t afford another loss as it pushes toward an NCAA Tournament bid.

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For now, BYU (15-5, 6-3) is No. 28 in the NCAA’s NET rankings and is projected as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi.

Just days after the Cougars outlasted a physical Pacific team, the Tigers challenged Gonzaga deep into the second half at the Spanos Center. Pacific (6-6, 3-5) led the Zags at halftime and it wasn’t until midway through the second half that Gonzaga pulled away.

“Pacific’s a really talented team. They can space the floor with five guys that shoot the 3. They’re tough and really physical. They take on the nature of their coach, Damon Stoudamire,” Pope said. “They had the Zags on their heels for 30 minutes at their place. They’re a really good team. It’s a team that’s capable of really scoring on the offensive end and every night they’re good on the defensive end. … They’re as good as anybody in this league minus probably the Zags.”

“They had the Zags on their heels for 30 minutes at their place. They’re a really good team. It’s a team that’s capable of really scoring on the offensive end and every night they’re good on the defensive end. … They’re as good as anybody in this league minus probably the Zags.” — Mark Pope on Pacific

With a couple of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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