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BYU Basketball: Breaking Down the Odds of a Deep NCAA Tournament Run

The numbers behind a BYU Sweet 16 run and beyond.

BYU men's basketball hosts San Francisco and Saint Mary's this week for an opportunity to bolster their tournament résumé. With only two regular season games remaining, BYU has been projected as high as a #7 seed and as low as a #9 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Today, we want to answer one question: what are BYU's chances to make a deep NCAA tournament run?


Until we can see the NCAA Tournament matchups on Selection Sunday, we'll have to rely on predictive models to answer that question. Team Rankings, a site that specializes in college basketball predictive probabilities, has calculated BYU's odds of advancing through each round of the NCAA tournament. Below are their predictions for BYU:

NCAA Tournament Chances

Make tournament: 99.3%

Make round of 32: 54.5%

Make Sweet 16: 20.7%

Make Elite 8: 8.1%

Make Final 4: 2.9%

Make NCAA Championship: .9%

Win NCAA Championship: .3%

Let's turn back the clock. If I told you in April of 2020 that BYU would have a 54% chance to advance to the second round in the NCAA tournament, would you believe me? BYU lost TJ Haws, Yoeli Childs, Jake Toolson, and more to graduation. Mark Pope and staff deserve a ton of credit for bringing in multiple impact transfers and blending them with the returning players.

If BYU is going to have a chance to advance to the Sweet 16, they really need to be a #7 seed or better in this author's opinion. The #1 seeds have really separated themselves this college basketball season; knocking off a #1 seed in the second round as an #8 or #9 seed would be a very tall task for this BYU basketball team. Knocking off a #2 seed would certainly be a challenge as well, but BYU's odds increase substantially if they move into the #7 seed tier. Team Rankings gives BYU a 20.7% chance to make the Sweet 16. In addition, BYU's most likely seed is a #7 seed.

Seed Probabilities

#3 seed or better: 2.2%

#4 seed: 5.7% 

#5 seed: 11.3%

#6 seed: 15.9%

#7 seed: 17.3%

#8 seed: 15.7%

#9 seed: 12.8%

#10 seed: 9.4%

#11 seed: 6.2%

#12 seed or worse: 2.8%

In case you missed it, BYU announced that a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the home games this week:

"BYU basketball will permit a limited number of spectators to attend both of the team’s games this week against San Francisco and Saint Mary’s.

Spectators will be physically-distanced by household, around the lower bowl of the Marriott Center, with a small section of the band.

A limited amount of student tickets will be made available at, starting on Wednesday, at 10 a.m. for Thursday’s game, and on Friday at 10 a.m. for Saturday’s game.

Additional tickets will be made available to 2019 basketball season ticket holders based on their Cougar Club priority level."

The game against San Francisco tips off at 7 p.m. on CBSSN, and Saturday’s game against Saint Mary’s tips off at 8 p.m on the ESPN2/ESPNU.

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