BYU Basketball: Ranking the Games That Popped the Cougars' Tourney Bubble

Samuel Benson@@sambbensonContributor IIIMarch 12, 2013

BYU Basketball: Ranking the Games That Popped the Cougars' Tourney Bubble

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    BYU is wrapping up the most frustrating basketball season since 2006 for most Cougar fans, and any hope of landing a spot in the NCAA tournament has diminished. The NIT could be a possible option for this postseason, and we will find out on Sunday if an invitation will be granted.

    If they do get a shot at the NIT, I'd be surprised to see a deep run assembled.

    So, when did BYU's chance of making the Big Dance die all together? Here are four games that led to the crash.

Gonzaga (January 24)

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    BYU's tourney hopes weren't exactly in jeopardy when they traveled to Spokane in January, but a 20-point blowout loss to Gonzaga exposed the Cougars' weaknesses to all of us. The Bulldogs led the entire game, and were carried by Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris, who combined for 51 points.

    The game gave us a glimpse of how mediocre the Cougs can be against great teams and that they aren't worthy of a high tourney bid. Their bubble wasn't completely popped after that game, but it was getting very close.

San Diego (February 7)

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    No one expected this one.

    After a three-game winning streak against WCC foes, BYU hit the road to play a San Diego team that they had dismantled 74-57 earlier in the season. Not many fans expected it to be much of a challenge, but we were all wrong.

    The Toreros shocked the Cougs with a 74-68 beating, and took a good chunk from their NCAA tournament dreams.

San Fransisco (February 9)

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    If San Diego didn't trash all hopes of an at-large bid for BYU, San Fransisco sure did.

    The Dons came in to Provo and sunk the Cougars with red-hot shooting and never took their foot off the gas pedal until a 99-87 victory was theirs.

    The game destroyed a chance of making the Big Dance without winning the WCC tourney, so that was their next stop.

San Diego (March 8)

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    BYU knew that their back was against the wall when they headed to Vegas, but they were shot down. San Diego upset the 12-point favorite BYU for a second time in the season, and that left the Cougs with no sign of life in terms of the NCAA tournament.

    It's frustrating to see a Cougar team struggle so much in a mid-major conference, but we will see what Dave Rose can do to turn the ship around.