So how can the seventh-seeded Cougs break the spell this year, when they go up against Florida Thursday afternoon?
• Rely on Jimmer Fredette. One of the best names in basketball also has one of the best strokes. He's scored more than 40 points multiple times this year, including a conference-best 49 points over Arizona right before the New Year. Fredette battled with mono for the better part of this season, but when he's clicking he's got "in-the-gym" range, as Gus Johnson is prone to say.
• Get out to a big lead. BYU was over, toast, done, dead and buried 10 minutes into its game against A&M last March because the Aggies sprinted to a 26-8 lead and never looked back. Well, BYU leads the country in scoring margin at 18.5 points-per-win. Best build a cushion against a Florida team that hasn't proven an ability to come back in a lot of games.
• If the Gators keep it close, BYU has to continue to push the pace and be as aggressive as possible. This will benefit it in two ways: BYU scores more than every other team in the tournament, averaging 83.5 points per game. And if BYU's pace is frantic and aggressive at the hoop, it will get to the line very, very often against a grab-happy Gators team. BYU shoots free throws at a 78.4-percent clip, the best in the country as well.
• Lastly, Fredette and fellow guard Jackson Emery (who is fourth in the nation in steals, by the way) can counter Florida's interior defense (if it shows up) by extending it beyond the 3-point arc and nailing the long ball. The Cougars are third in the country, shooting 42.1 percent from downtown. Seems silly such a proficient team is seeded seventh, right? We're still confused, too.