Commentary: What BYU, Utah, Utah State, WSU, UVU and SUU need to do to make the NCAA Tournament

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 1:03 p.m. MST

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Current Record: 13-7

Current RPI: 41

Current Status: On the bubble

BYU played a brutal non-conference schedule, and its strength of schedule is keeping the Cougars on the bubble. BYU played four teams in the RPI Top 30, but it went 0-4 against those teams. Still, the Cougars have solid wins over No. 36 Texas on a neutral site and at No. 53 Stanford.

BYU has no room left for error after losing to Utah, LMU and Pepperdine all on the road. BYU needs to beat Gonzaga at least once and beat everybody else to ensure an at-large bid. That's no small feat with dangerous teams such as Portland and Saint Mary's still on the schedule. If any West Coast Conference team beats BYU at the Marriott Center, the Cougars will have to win the WCC Tournament to go dancing.

NBC Sports' Dave Ommen has BYU playing in the First Four while ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Cougars in as a No. 11 seed.
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Marked it Down
Park City, UT

#40 BYU is the only Utah team with a legitimate chance of getting an at-large bid. BYU will have to win all of their remaining home games and not lose any road games except to Gonzaga and perhaps Saint Mary's, otherwise BYU will have to win the WCC tournament.

#121 Utah would have to go on an incredible road winning streak to get an at-large bid, and for a team that's only won 1 of 19 road games in the PAC 12, that's an almost impossible expectation. With ASU, Arizona, Colorado, USC (which just beat California), UCLA, California, and Stanford all on the road, the Utes would have to get extremely lucky to pick up more than a couple of wins. With 2 roads, and a likely maximum of no more than 3 more home wins, the Utes would only have a 19-11 record with 9 of those wins coming against teams ranked in the bottom 100 or non-Div 1 teams.

UVU and Weber St have legitimate chances of winning their conference tournaments to secure auto-bids.

USU has little chance of winning the MWC tournament. SUU no chance.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

Dixie State has the best opportunity of all the Utah schools in going to an NCAA tournament. They are 14-2 right now, 5-2 in conference on the road, 2-0 in conference at home. They have 6 more home conference games and 3 more road conference games. The conference tournament will be at Point Loma, where they play Saturday night. They beat UNLV in the Thomas and Mack Center.

If one Utah team goes to a big dance, my money would be on Dixie State.

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