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BYU Bracketology: Where the Cougars Stand 5 Games into Big 12 Play

BYU is 2-3 in their first five games of Big 12 play. Where do they stand among experts projecting the NCAA Tournament bracket in March?

Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

BYU was bound to be tested in Big 12 Conference play. They got a rude welcome to the conference with a loss to Cincinnati. They fell again to Baylor in Waco.

Then BYU rattled off two straight wins, an impressive one in Orlando against UCF before blowing out No. 24 Iowa State at home.

They lost a heartbreaker to No. 20 Texas Tech in Lubbock when they had a double-digit second half lead. Now they sit at 2-3 in conference play with still an impressive 14-4 overall record.

Where does this put BYU in NCAA Tournament talk?

Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology- #5 seed vs. #12 McNeese State

Lunardi’s coined “Bracketology” projections are favorable to BYU, even with an uneven start to conference play. This specific draw would be quite enticing. Not only would BYU be a five-seed playing in Salt Lake City, but if the favorites were to prevail in the first round, they would have a date with Duke in the second round.

CBS’ Jerry Palm- #7 seed vs. #10 Saint Mary’s

Wouldn’t this be a cruel twist of fate? BYU finally frees itself from the West Coast Conference to the “big boys” only to have to play one of their more pestering rivals of their previous conference home in the opening round of the tournament. Still, the matchup would be in Salt Lake City in this instance, giving BYU a bit more of a home-court advantage.

FOX Sports- #5 seed vs. #12 James Madison

FOX agrees with Lunardi about BYU being a five-seed. Even with BYU stumbling through conference play to this point, most pundits continue to believe they are worthy of a single-digit seed.

These two squads have not met since 1991. #5 seed vs. #12 Grand Canyon

TeamRankings continues to be very bullish on the Cougars, also listing them as a fifth seed. They go even further into projections. According to them, BYU currently has an 89.5 percent chance to make the tournament and even a 15.4 percent chance to make the Final Four.

Overall, the experts still like BYU’s chances at not only making the tournament, but being a single-digit seed. It certainly helps to be in the middle of the pack in the greatest college basketball conference in the country. Some fierce tests await that will truly test this team’s mettle.

No. 4 power Houston comes to Provo Tuesday night followed by the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. BYU will get plenty of chances to prove their worthiness to the selection committee.