PROVO, Utah – March will be the last chance for Brigham Young University men’s basketball to make a run to the NCAA Tournament.
Coming off one of the biggest upsets in program history- their win over Gonzaga – the Cougars beat Loyola Marymount University 89-81 in Vegas on March 4, but lost to St. Mary’s 50-81 on March 6.
On Feb. 25, BYU managed to beat previously undefeated #1 Gonzaga on their senior night at the Kennel. This was the 3rd straight season that BYU has won in Spokane. They were led by 29 points and 11 rebounds from Eric Mika, and 5 threes and 17 points from TJ Haws.
Sophomore Guard Nick Emery said he is confident that the team will be ready for their latest challenges.
“When you get into tournament time, the lights turn on. Every team is playing at their best and I think it’s a different game but (we’ve) just got to keep preparing the way we’re doing, and like I said, we’re on this high right now, (and we’ve) got to keep that,” Emery said.
The Cougars have not won their conference tournament since 2001. If this drought is going to end, they will need strong play from Eric Mika and TJ Haws, both recently named to the All-WCC First Team. Haws is the first BYU Freshman since Danny Ainge in 1978 to be named a conference first team player.
Head Coach Dave Rose said he feels strongly that the entire team will be key to winning in Vegas.
“You can’t do it with just one or two or three guys, you got to have a group of guys that go all the way down the bench that pull in and help you get something like this done,” Rose said.