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BYU Bracketology: Where the Cougars Stand Heading into Big 12 Play

Where does BYU stand in their chances at making the NCAA Tournament heading into conference play?

NCAA Basketball: Vegas Showdown Championship North Carolina State vs Brigham Young Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

BYU men’s basketball has concluded their non-conference slate at a stunning 12-1. Their lone loss, as painful as it was on the road to Utah, is considered a “Quad 1 loss” which doesn’t hurt their resume.

Their lone Quad 1 win is San Diego State, who is 11-2.

Now, they enter the gauntlet of Big 12 Conference play, beginning Saturday against Cincinnati in Provo.

At 12-1, and No. 12 in the AP Top 25, one would assume they are in prime position to make the NCAA Tournament and maybe even make some noise once there.

As of now, they are.

Per Joe Lunardi’s “Bracketology” on ESPN, BYU is rated as the top No. 3 seed in his field.

He currently has BYU slated as the No. 3 seed playing in Salt Lake City against local familiar foe Weber State. In this scenario, if the first round were to go to the favorites, BYU would square off with San Diego State in a rematch for a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.

Jerry Palm of CBS is not quite as high on BYU, but still has them as a single digit seed. In his projected bracket, BYU is a No. 5 seed slated to play No. 12 Princeton, also in the Salt Lake bracket.

TeamRankings.com is extremely high on BYU, slotting them as one of the four No. 1 seeds in their tournament projections. They give BYU an 85 percent chance at being a top four seed. They are even giving them a 27.7 percent chance at making the Final Four.

First, they have BYU pitted against No. 16 seed Norfolk State.

Certainly, that is looking through some seriously royal blue-tinted glasses. BYU has to take care of business in the Big 12, which is easily the toughest basketball conference in the country. Even going .500 in Big 12 play likely puts BYU squarely in the tournament. They travel to Baylor, Oklahoma, and Kansas, all of whom are currently in the AP Top 20. And that doesn’t include hosting No. 3 Houston and No. 20 Texas in the same week.

By all accounts, BYU is in prime position at not only making the NCAA Tournament but possibly as a single-digit seed. BYU was a No. 6 seed in 2021 but have not been higher than that since the Jimmer year of 2011, when they were a 3-seed.

However, the Cougars have a mountain to climb before March dreams can come true. Nothing is set in stone.