BYU finished the season ahead of the tournament at 20-6 after dropping the WCC championship game to Gonzaga on Tuesday night. All signs point to BYU hearing their name called on Selection Sunday on March 14. In fact, it looks like they may have a single-digit seed all locked up, which BYU has not accomplished since Jimmer Fredette’s senior year in 2011.
Let’s take a dive into where some experts slot BYU in the upcoming bracket.
No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 Syracuse
Team Rankings uses algorithms and formulas instead of a writer, thus the “eyeball test” does not come into play. This site is one of the highest on BYU at the moment, giving them the lowest No. 6 seed slot.
Syracuse would be a daunting opponent, down season for the Orange or not. They play in the always-tough ACC and are No. 34 in the BPI rankings. This is a school that has been to the Final Four six times and won the national title in 2003.
No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 VCU
Joe Lunardi has had BYU in the No. 7 seed area for several weeks now and that doesn’t change with a loss to Gonzaga.
VCU certainly is a viable opponent. Who could forget their Cinderella run in 2011, when they made it all the way to the Final Four. They are currently 19-6 and sit at No. 57 in the BPI rankings.
No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 North Carolina
Andy Katz did BYU no favors here. Not only is BYU in the unenviable 8/9 game, but they are matched with perhaps the most storied program in college basketball history.
Yes, the Tar Heels are in the middle of a down year, at 17-9 but currently come in at No. 24 in the BPI rankings. This would be a very challenging first round matchup for BYU, going up against a school that boasts 20 Final Four appearances and six national titles.
No. 7 seed
Bracket Matrix combines 127 bracket projections across the internet and averages them all together. They have BYU as the highest 7 seed, just behind Missouri. The highest projection for BYU is a 3 seed and the lowest is a 9 seed.
No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 Wichita State
Several pundits have BYU getting a No. 8 seed and Jerry Palm is among them. They would play a feisty AAC team in Wichita State.
The Shockers have made several impressive runs in the tournament, the biggest being a Final Four appearance in 2013 as...*gulp*... a No. 9 seed.
No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech
A third site pins BYU on the eight-line. Virginia Tech is 15-6 and No. 37 in the BPI rankings.
No. 9 seed vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
Sporting News is the most pessimistic when it comes to where BYU fits in the bracket. They play a talented Oklahoma team in this scenario that actually ranks just one slot below BYU in the BPI at No. 31.
Clearly, BYU looks to be right in the discussion for single-digit seed, with the average of these projections sitting around the No. 7 or 8 seed.