The main topic of debate as BYU prepares for No. 7 seed Oregon at the NCAA Tournament second round in Milwaukee is that without starting forward Kyle Collinsworth -- the No. 10 seed Cougars are as good as done.
The problem is this, according to Deseret News reporter Dick Harmon in his article on Wednesday, March 19. If you look at the brutal non-conference schedule BYU played, it has earned its spot in the Big Dance.
Moreover, even the pundits at ESPN think that BYU deserves to be in the NCAA Tournament over both Pitt and Florida State -- and the latter got the NIT. They did their infamous “Blind Resume” test. When it was revealed that they preferred the Cougars -- they quickly backtracked on their selection of BYU over the other two schools.
But like most national media, not everyone is sold on BYU’s promise. The Web site Utah Sports Ruckus says that BYU got “pretty excited” when it learned it was back in the Big Dance -- so it will be one-and-done for the Cougars.
BYU head coach Dave Rose disagrees with that statement, instead preferring to make a statement of his own before his 23-11 Cougars practiced at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Wednesday morning.
"These guys deserve to be here," Rose said at a press conference. "If you had spent five months with our team, you’d have a whole different interpretation, or feeling, about our team."
The feeling about BYU’s team in the national media is that the Cougars are overmatched, undersized, lack talent and overall not NCAA Tournament-worthy.
Later this week, the Cougars will have their opportunity to change a few hundred minds.