Thanksgiving in Vegas is always a great way to spend the holiday, but with the reported news for BYU Basketball today, it just became that much more enticing. According to Paul Oren, BYU will battle in Las Vegas with Valparaiso, Minnesota and Alabama in a three day tournament.
Valparaiso in tourney with BYU/Minnesota/Alabama. Vandy in tourney with Arizona and Butler. Sign me up.— Paul Oren (@NWIOren) April 9, 2016
It is unclear how much this tournament will help the Cougars out of conference schedule if you look at the rankings of the other three teams. Valparaiso finished this year at 40 in Ken Pom, which is not bad, but both Alabama and Minnesota were not good at all this year. Alabama finished at 99 and Minnesota finished at an astounding 223. Given these number, you have to hope that BYU gets to play the Tide and a rematch against Valpo while avoiding the Golden Gophers, who are likely to still be rebuilding next season.
Nonetheless, BYU has to accept invitations like this because basically anything can help when you find yourself playing in the West Coast Conference. Even Alabama being around the 100th best team, will be a significantly better team than many teams within the WCC.
Assuming the news is accurate, BYU Basketball will play in some non-conference neutral site games in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles towards the end of 2016. At the very least, the team will be excited to get some warmth and play in some famous cities. The Cougars will also reportedly face Illinois at the United Center in Chicago, and will play host to Colorado.