Is BYU worthy of an NCAA tournament No. 1 seed?
If they win out; without a doubt.
With a raucous Aztec crowd looking to avenge their only loss of the year against BYU, the No. 7 ranked Cougars put on an astounding display of long range shooting in their 80-67 victory over No. 6 ranked San Diego State.
In front of a sell out crowd and national television audience, the Cougars came out and silenced Viejas Arena early and often, and they did it from behind the arc, nailing 14 total threes on the afternoon.
Head coach Steve Fisher and the Aztecs made a decision to double team the best player in the nation, Jimmer Fredette, and Jimmer made them pay, finding wide open teammates for good looks throughout the game.
BYU big man Noah Hartsock got the shooting party started as he hit his first four three-point attempts in the first half. Hartsock would finish the game hitting six-of-seven shots from the field for 15 points.
As great as Hartsock was in the first half, BYU's Charles Abouo was equally as impressive in the second half.
Abouo was sensational, shooting four-of-five from behind the line, as well as giving the Cougars a huge lift on both ends of the floor with his aggressive play and much needed athleticism. Abouo would finish with 18 points for the game.
And then there was Jimmer.
Jimmer, although double teamed for most of the game, was still able to convert half of his three-point attempts, finishing four-of-eight from downtown and a game high 25 points.
It was a total team effort for BYU, as guard Jackson Emery added 13 points on offense, while continuing to be rock solid on the defensive side of the ball.
Big man Brandon Davies added six rebounds and three assists, while Stephen Rogers came off the bench and hit two huge shots in key moments and helped spark a second half surge for BYU in which the Cougars pushed their lead from six points to 13 points with him on the floor.
One of the knocks on BYU this year has been that they are a one man show. Nothing could be further from the truth.
BYU proved today that they are certainly deserving of a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
Not only are they 27-2, but they have consistently gone on the road and won basketball games.
They have wins over No. 10 Arizona, South Florida, St. Marys, UNLV and now No. 6 San Diego State, all away from the Marriott Center in Provo.
However, none were bigger than today.
BYU went into one of the most hostile venues in the nation and whooped the No. 6 ranked team in the land.
And more importantly, they did it as a team.
If BYU is able to win their final two games of the year, as well as win the MWC tournament, they should be deserving of one of the four coveted one seeds in the NCAA tournament.
There should be no excuses about second place teams from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten or Big 12 being more deserving.
That's the same rhetoric that comes from the BCS in football.
In recent tournament history, mid-major conferences have proved that they can have teams reach the Final Four.
Butler did it a year ago, George Mason did it as well, and so did Utah.
And they all did it without a one seed.
Now it's time to give worthy mid-majors, the same advantage as the major conferences, by awarding them a one seed when it's merited.
Of course, all of this is still dependent on BYU winning out.
But after the way they played today, that might just be a foregone conclusion.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!