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BYU basketball: Coach Dave Rose says winning WCC tourney best way into NCAAs

You know all that talk about the BYU Cougars basketball team being on the “bubble” of making it into the NCAA Tournament?

BYU coach Dave Rose.
Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Well, forget about it, because BYU head coach Dave Rose said Thursday, March 6 there is only one way to “probably” get into the Big Dance at this point for the 21-10 Cougars.

For him, BYU must win the men’s West Coast Conference tournament beginning Thursday in Las Vegas.

Now you can forgive him for sounding a bit extreme, considering BYU has a Top 40 RPI after having played a brutal non-conference schedule -- and then Gonzaga, Saint Marys and others in his own conference.

Perhaps the toll of having played so many close games -- some of which have entered triple digit score lines -- has taken its toll on him and his team.

But Rose is not the only one who thinks the Cougars have to go to extremes at the Orleans Arena in downtown Vegas; college basketball expert Ken Pomeroy said in his blog himself Thursday that this tournament field is wide open and BYU is one of several who can win it all.

In fact, Pomeroy gave BYU just a 23.2 percent chance of winning the tournament championship -- which brings with it an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

But Rose and Pomeroy digress: not only does BYU’s very recent history of playing Wichita State (currently ranked No. 3) or UMass, Stanford, Iowa State -- or any of the other teams the Cougars have played that are in the RPI Top 40 -- not matter to the crochety NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, neither does going to the conference tournament semifinals.

That’s what those two figureheads are saying about the Cougars’ chances - and it will be interesting to see if the Selection Committee agrees. The Cougars’ RPI is still a respectable 35th as of Thursday.