Fans of the BYU Cougars span around the world. The Cougars will be taking the floor tonight against Creighton in the quarterfinals of the NIT. Far and wide, from LA to BYU, London to Hong Kong, the Loyal, Strong, and True will be united firmly behind the Cougars at 7:00 PM MST. Strangely, the local fans in the home state of Brigham Young University may not be equally engaged in the backing behind the Marriott Center Men at tip off.
The local fans of the Cougars have been presented with an important decision of Tuesday night. Never before have Utahn Cougars had to ask themselves this question.
To Caucus or to Cougar?
As if there weren't enough to consider already.
Tuesday night, the Presidential Primary Caucuses take place in the Beehive State. Whatever your political views are, the variety of political platforms and personalities have made for an entertaining and interesting primary season. As such, it is only natural for Utahns to want to back their preferred candidate.
At the same time as many of the caucuses, the great Kyle Collinsworth will (hopefully!) take the floor for the final time in the Marriott Center. Chase Fischer will have his final chance to make his impression felt in Provo. While the exciting, youthful talents of Seljaas and Emery continue to gain post-season experience.
The Cougars face a tough test in the Creighton Bluejays. This formidable opponent poses a significant threat to BYU chances to survive and advance. Compounding the difficulty of the Creighton challenge are the reports of Kyle Collinsworth's absence from Monday's practice due to the flu.
Kyle Collinsworth missed practice with the flu. Cougars practiced with Nick Emery at the point; Emery expects KC back tomorrow.— Sean Walker (@HeyDSean) March 21, 2016
One of the main themes from the 2nd round victory over Virginia Tech was the importance of BYU's home court advantage in defeating the Hokies. The Marriott Center crowd helped in every way that they could in that match-up. The attendees picked up the Cougar players on defense and reinforced critical baskets. The ROC tried to force and will missed free throws -- they were successful in their effort. In an effort to make the referees social facilitators, the audience made the officials well aware of the quality of their whistles. The Cougar fans were intense despite it being "just the NIT." The passion brought from the stands made its mark in the outcome of the game. The game was decided by 3 points. When it is that close, that well played and contested, having an influential home court may be the only difference.
With this fresh reminder of the potential a crowd has to sway a game positively, the truly last chance to see all time greats, Collinsworth's flu, and the stakes of quarterfinals game against the talented Blue Jays squad, it is only natural for Cougar fans to want to back their team.
To Caucus or to Cougar?
For those choosing to Caucus, great choice. It is important for you to do your part to make your voice heard concerning the future representative of your party. I wish you the best of luck and clarity in your decision. Use your vote for who you believe will be the best president. Please be civil and travel safely.
For those choosing to Cougar, great choice. You are clearly in one of two groups. Group #1, you are a registered independent. Group #2, you haven't found a candidate that you support enough, at least not enough to earn your vote for them over the BYU Basketball team. The Marriott Center has sold plenty of tickets as the upper bowl is nearly sold out. Use your voice to support your team in their quest to reach Madison Square Garden. Please be civil and travel safely.
Fortunately, it is quite likely that never again will the BYU faithful be confronted with this dilemma. General election primaries only roll around every 4 years and it isn't often BYU sees a home game this late in a season.
Tomorrow is Mar 22; over last 50 yrs, in only 2 seasons has BYU played a game later into the year: 2010-11 (3/24), 2012-13 (3/25, 3/27, 4/2)— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) March 22, 2016
Tuesday night's contest will be just the 3rd home game to take place in the Marriott Center from March 22nd or later in the year.
Both the caucuses and basketball court are sure to deliver a degree of drama and intrigue. While caucus goers will be greeted by various views and endorsements at their event, perhaps the most unified and like-minded gathering of people in Utah tomorrow will be in the Marriott Center.