The NCAA Basketball regular season is drawing to a close. Which mid-major teams and players capitalized on best on this week’s big games?
Best Performance, Team – BYU Cougars
What a win for the Cougars. BYU defended their home court defiantly on Saturday, taking down the number two team in the country Gonzaga 91-78 with an impressive performance in Provo.
In the process, the Cougars busted a number of streaks: the Zags had won 19 games in a row overall, 40 consecutive regular-season conference games (the longest streak in the nation), and 39 straight road games against West Coast Conference teams. BYU proved it belonged at the WCC big boys table with Gonzaga, something no other opponent, not even Saint Mary’s, had been able to do recently.
It was an incredible final home game for the seniors, who stepped up all night. Yoeli Childs looked unstoppable at times, putting up 28 points on 12-16 shooting, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. TJ Haws had 16 points, four rebounds, eight assists, and a steal. Jake Toolson went for 17 points, three rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Even Zac Seljaas had 12, 5, 2 and 1 off the bench. When this team is healthy, they are an offensive machine.
With the win, BYU jumped up six spots to number 17 in the latest AP Poll. They’re currently on the seven seed line on the Bracket Matrix, and one of this week’s Busting Brackets Bracketology Winners. I would imagine they might go even higher with some nice wins in the conference tournament and some other teams continuing to drop. We all thought Saint Mary’s would be the dangerous second banana from WCC in the tournament this season, but the Cougars have taken that slot with authority.
Let’s also give a shoutout to UNLV for ending San Diego State’s unbeaten season with a 66-63 win on the road.