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Potential Big 12 Preview: Could BYU Play Kansas State?

BYU v Kansas State Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

BYU is right on the NCAA Tournament bubble with two regular season games remaining versus LMU and Pepperdine. Those are both Quad Four games and won’t move the needle at all for BYU if they win.

On Monday, I went in depth about the possibility of BYU adding a game and some potential candidates. In short, BYU has the option to add an extra game since the WCC opener at Portland was cancelled due to COVID issues, and BYU could find a team that has an opening and motive to schedule a resume-building game.

Mark Pope mentioned during Tuesday’s press conference that BYU has reached out to about 20 different teams. The game would need to be either Tuesday, March 1 or Wednesday, March 2. BYU likely will get the 5 seed in the WCC Tournament, which means they would open up tourney play Friday, March 4.

Tuesday is the preferable date for BYU because of that, but BYU may decide to play on Wednesday if that’s the only day that works for the opponent.

Could BYU Play Kansas State?

One of the most likely opponents BYU could play if they schedule a game is Kansas State. Sources have told me that the Wildcats are a real possibility and have interest to add another non-conference to boost their resume. Bruce Weber in his postgame interview Tuesday night said they are looking at adding another non-conference opponent.

If BYU and Kansas State play, the game would be Wednesday, March 2. The Wildcats have games this upcoming Saturday versus Iowa State and again on Monday at Texas Tech, so Wednesday would give them a day to prep for BYU. I believe the game would happen at Kansas State as BYU is willing to play a road game in order to get a Quad One opportunity. Neutral site isn’t totally off the table, but at Kansas State is the more likely option.

BYU is currently ranked 53 in NET and Kansas State is 62. Quad one games are counted as top 75 opponents on the road, top 50 on a neutral floor, and top 30 at home. If the game is in Manhattan, it would count as a Quad One game for BYU and a Quad Two game for Kansas State.

The Wildcats are 14-13 overall, and like BYU, on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Both sides are waiting to see what happens this weekend before making anything official. For BYU, they would want to take care of business with LMU and Pepperdine and avoid any injuries.

For Kansas State, I think they would want to see if they can beat Iowa State at home. If they lose that one, they go on the road two days later to play #9 Texas Tech and are looking at a 14-15 record and bubble hopes all but gone. A win over Iowa State would keep Kansas State’s bubble hopes alive with how strong the Big 12 is. If the Wildcats lose to the Cyclones then I don’t think they will add an extra game.

If BYU schedules a game versus Kansas State — or anyone else — I don’t think we’ll hear official word until sometime between Saturday night and Monday morning. As it stands now, my money is on Kansas State being the most likely option. A game on March 2 means BYU could play three games in 4 days — Kansas State Wednesday, the winner of the 8-9 WCC Tournament game Friday, and the 4 seed Saturday — but BYU is doing everything they can to increase their NCAA Tournament chances. A win at Kansas State or other similar teams BYU has called would give the Cougars that chance.