Oh West Coast Conference, how you have made things interesting at the end of the season.
The BYU Cougars (20-9, 9-5 WCC) are currently on the NCAA Tournament bubble. They have zero wins against teams ranked in the Top 25, however, they also have almost zero bad losses. While a WCC regular season title is completely out of their reach, making a real run at being invited to participate in March Madness is not.
The Cougars are so close to getting an at-large bid it is ridiculous. With only two games remaining on their schedule, one of which is almost a guaranteed win, BYU is only one big victory away from securing a pair of dancing slippers. Luckily for them, there isn’t a team in their conference who provides them with such an opportunity more than the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who they play Thursday night.
It is pretty simple really. BYU can put away all the formulas in which a decent run in their conference tournament will get them into the tourney. All they have to do is beat the number two team in the country.
Gonzaga, who most assume will be the new number one ranked team in the nation, has already destroyed the Cougars by 20 points. So it won’t be as easy as just wanting to win for BYU.
For BYU, it is time to find out what they are made of.
Can they man up for one game, with NCAA Tournament ramifications at an all-time high, and pull off a victory? Who knows, but if they don’t win against the Bulldogs and fall short in the WCC Tournament, their dreams of dancing in March will vanish quicker than a doughnut in front of a chubby kid.
One win BYU, one win. That is all you need. It just so happens it is against Gonzaga. But hey, let’s be honest, if you can’t eat dinner at the big boy table, you probably don’t belong dancing with them in March.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone