Publish date:

How BYU Basketball Can Improve Their Seed in the NCAA Tournament

A look at the teams surrounding BYU in Joe Lunardi's list of NCAA tournament seeding.
Matt Haarms BYU Basketball

During the BYU football season, we published a weekly article outlining where BYU could move in up the polls given matchups that weekend. With the NCAA tournament quickly approaching, we'll start a similar series for the BYU basketball team. We'll look at teams that surround them in Joe Lunardi's list of NCAA tournament seeds and determine what needs to happen for BYU to improve their spot in the NCAA tournament. Let's dig right in!

In Lunardi's latest seed list updated February 23rd, BYU was listed as a #7 seed. 

These are the teams ranked just above BYU that could fall below the Cougars with a loss or a narrow victory against a bad team.

Team - Seed (Seed rank)

Tennessee - 6 (21)

Tennessee plays at Vanderbilt and at Auburn this week. ESPN BPI gives the Volunteers an 83.5% to beat Vandy and 72% chance to beat Auburn.

Arkansas - 6 (22)

Arkansas hosts Alabama and LSU this week. Alabama is currently ranked #6 in the AP Top-25. Even if they suffer a loss this week, Arkansas will probably hold their spot.

Missouri - 6 (23)

A third consecutive SEC team? Yes. Missouri hosts Ole Miss before traveling home to host Texas A&M on Saturday. ESPN BPI gives Mizzou a 60.6% chance to beat Ole Miss and an 85.6% chance to beat Texas A&M.

Virginia Tech - 6 (24)

The Hokies host Georgia Tech and Wake Forest this week. They have a 65% chance to beat Georgia Tech, and a 90% chance to beat the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.

LSU - 7 (25)

LSU travels to Georgia and Arkansas this week. ESPN BPI gives the Tigers a 32% chance of winning both games.

Clemson - 7 (26)

Clemson's greatest challenge this week will be an away game at Wake Forest on Wednesday. ESPN BPI gives the Tigers a 75% chance to win. 

BYU - 7 (27)

BYU hosts Saint Mary's and San Francisco this week. Saint Mary's and San Francisco rank #70 and #107 in the NET rankings, respectively. The game against Saint Mary's will be a quad 2 game, the game against San Francisco will be a quad 3 game. A sweep this week could lock in BYU's status as a #7 seed.

If you've ever wondered what qualifies as a quad 1 vs quad 2 game vs quad 3 game etc., check out the quadrant breakdown below:

  • Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75.
  • Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135.
  • Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240.
  • Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus.

These are the teams that sit just behind BYU in Joe Lunardi's bracketology. These teams could leapfrog the Cougars with resume-building wins.

Colorado - 7 (28)

Colorado hosts UCLA and USC this week. Colorado would likely leapfrog BYU if they beat USC.

Oklahoma State - 8 (29)

Oklahoma State travels to #7 Oklahoma on Saturday. A road victory against a top-10 team would elevate the Cowboys above BYU in these rankings.

Rutgers - 8 (30)

Rutgers is set to face Indiana this week. ESPN BPI gives the Scarlet Knights a 58% chance to beat Indiana.

Florida - 8 (31)

Florida travels to Auburn and Kentucky this week. They have a 54% chance to beat Kentucky according to ESPN BPI.

Loyola Chicago - 8 (32)

Loyola Chicago plays Southern Illinois twice this week. Loyola Chicago will probably win both games, but wins over Southern Illinois probably won't move the needle in terms of NCAA tournament seeding.