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  • Writer's pictureAdam Gibby

Forget the Tourney Train, BYU Basketball Could be in Cinderella's Carriage

It seems like every year there is at least one Cinderella team in the NCAA Tournament.

The term "train" is often used in sports when referring to sports teams who are on a roll because of the idea that they are nearly impossible to stop. The NCAA Tourney Train has also been commonly used for teams who are on a winning streak and seem to be heading to the NCAA Tournament. While this term may be appropriate for BYU, a better way of transportation may be Cinderella's Carriage.

The beauty of the NCAA Tournament is that every team in the country has a chance to cut down the nets in April. Basketball is also weird in that all it takes is one team to play really hot at the same time another team plays really cold and then chaos ensues. While that can happen in other sports, the amount of upsets in the NCAA Tournament is so much higher than any other sport. When this chaos happens two or three times in a row to an underdog team, and often times with a bit of luck with other high seeds falling in their bracket, they are given the name "Cinderella team".

Some of the Cinderella teams in recent memory include Butler, VCU, Dayton, Wichita State and Loyola-Chicago. While it doesn't happen every season, it does seem to happen more times than not. Something is common is most of these teams however, and it is something that BYU also posses. The ability to get REALLY HOT.

BYU is the perfect Cinderella team

BYU Basketball is the kind of team that if two or three guys get really hot, the Cougars could realistically make more than 15 three pointers in a game. While it is not likely, it is totally possible with literally every single player on the team being able to knock down a three.

Since BYU started off the season without star forward Yoeli Childs, the Cougars have dropped three games they would not have otherwise lost. Because of that, the Cougars will probably find themselves at a high seed in the 9-12 range, or the Cinderella range.

Let's say that BYU does get an '11 seed' and plays the six seed. Six seeds are infamous for losing their first round game (winning only 63% of the time) and often feature a team that either fell apart at the end of the season or a team that has injuries so they didn't play as well as they were projected to in the Conference Tournament. If BYU can put together a performance like they did against Virginia Tech or Houston, the Cougars would likely find themselves in the Round of 32.

Then things could get weird really quick. This year, there aren't a lot of dominate teams. This season has already seen five teams in the No. 1 spot in only seven weeks. It would not be a surprise AT ALL if a bunch of two and three seed teams lose in the first or second rounds. Historically, according to NCAA records, the odds of the three seed advancing to the Round of 32 AND the two seed advancing to the Sweet 16 is only 46.3%. In other words, the team that advances from the 6 vs 11 match up has a 53.7% of not having to play both the third and second seeded teams should they advance that far.

If BYU is fortunate enough to win their first round game and see a two or three seed lose their game, the Cougars would only really have to put together one super special game to find themselves in the Elite Eight. Only one special game of making 15 three pointers to make it as far as any other BYU team before.

I realize that all of this is a long shot, but realistically, BYU could find themselves playing a six seed, a three seed and a seven seed before facing the likely eventual one seed. Oh yeah, and did we mention that all of this will be in March?


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