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NCAA Tournament Will Reschedule BYU's Sunday Game If They Reach Sweet 16

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

BYU head coach Mark Pope, left, celebrates with his players after they defeated San Diego State in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Denis Poroy/Associated Press

The NCAA will accommodate BYU's school policy of not competing in athletic events on Sundays should the Cougars reach the Sweet 16.ย 

The organization announced Monday the East's regional semifinals and final would move to Saturday, March 27 and Monday, March 29 if the Cougars win their first two games.ย The Midwest region, which is currently slated to compete on those days, would move its last two rounds to March 28 and 30.

"That contingency will only be utilized in the event that BYU were to advance to the Sweet 16," Dan Gavitt, the NCAA's senior vice president of basketball, said of the situation. "If they do not, then there would be no change to dates for any teams for regionals."

The situation may resolve itself, considering BYU has made just one Sweet 16 appearance (2011) since 1981.

The Cougars earned a No. 6 seed after finishing 20-6 in the regular season, and they sit 29th in ESPN.com'sย College Basketball Power Index.

The selection committee did BYU few favors since a first-round matchup with either Michigan State or UCLA awaits Saturday.ย The Spartans in particular could be a tough out, having registered upsets of Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan within the last month.

Should BYU move on, a date with third-seeded Texas could beckon in the second round.