BYU basketball: The Cougars need to win these key games if they want to go dancing in March

Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 5:35 p.m. MST

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Pepperdine, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego

Playing in the West Coast Conference has been a big change for the Cougars and their fans. Among the biggest differences are game times, TV coverage and smaller arenas, but the biggest difference is the strength of schedule between the two leagues.

It's no secret that the Mountain West Conference was a top basketball league. Teams could afford to lose a couple games and still make it into the NCAA Tournament. Not so much in the West Coast Conference. Losing a game or two to mediocre teams will cost a trip the big dance. BYU found this out last year; it lost games against San Diego and San Francisco.

If BYU wants to return the NCAA Tournament this year, the Cougars will have to take care of business in the West Coast Conference. If not, they could very well be on the outside looking in again.
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Cottonwood Heights, UT

"This year the Utes look much improved and will give BYU all they can handle when the two teams collide Dec. 14 at the Huntsman Center."

I'm guessing this statement is more true than cougar fans want to believe. If Utah can take care of the 5 spot and keep Haws under control (at least hold him to a lousy shooting percentage) ... well ... I'll just say I'd really like Utah's chances.

Omaha, NE

Seriously? It's more important to beat a ut or usu team who will fall to the middle to bottom of their conference than an Oregon or Iowa State or Texas? Seriously, these lists are put together by people who are too Utah based and can't see the whole picture. No way is ut the #2 team for them to beat. As usually, beating ut will do nothing for BYU's chances to make the big dance, but beating UT will!

Also, splitting one/one with Gonzaga/St. Mary's would better than beating any other Utah teams.

Gone fishin
PAC Country, WA

Well first off Utah does not belong on that list. They only look much improved because they don't have the courage to play decent teams, on the road. My church team could rack up the same numbers as the u.
Here is how I see it:
Stanford - Solid win. Already marked down.
Utah - Easy gimme
USU - Hard fought but a win for BYU
Texas - Very winnable this year
Iowa State - Very Winnable
Oregon - Toss up

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