The loss to the Gaels essentially takes away and chance for another mess up this season for BYU Basketball.
The 87-84 overtime loss to Saint Mary's featured a BYU squad that down their best player still almost put together a magical game on the road. Despite their efforts however, they still lost and came away with another loss, their third overtime loss of the season.
The general feeling around Cougar Nation right now is full of optimism. After all, the Cougars were only one basket away from taking down a top 30 team on the road without Yoeli Childs. While the feeling of optimism is fair to feel, to say that this was a moral victory couldn't be further from the truth, or at least the reality of the situation.
Before I get into this any further, credit is still due to the Cougars' performance without their star forward. TJ Haws played a phenomenal game and his dunk towards the end of regulation honestly had me feeling like the Cougars were going to find a way to pull out the victory. But when all of the moral victories and would have, should have, and could have scenarios are played out, we still arrive at the same finish. A loss.
Essentially this loss means that BYU can not lose any other games to teams that are not named St. Mary's or Gonzaga without picking up at least a win from one of those two. Had the Cougars pulled off the upset, they would have been in such a good position that they could have likely been able to lose the three remaining games against St. Zaga and even drop a WCC head scratcher.
That is no longer the case though. If BYU loses any games to teams like Pacific or San Francisco, their NCAA dreams would likely lie in them taking down St. Mary's or Gonzaga at some point. To this point, the Cougars have only had one season since joining the WCC that they didn't lose a bad game.
Am I optimistic about the Cougars' chances in round two against the Gaels if they get Yoeli Childs? Sure, they almost found a way to beat them without him. But at the end of the day, only two things really matter, wins and losses. And for BYU and in the WCC, unfortunately, they are starting to flirt with too many of those.