BYU hopes to punch their ticket into the NCAA tournament with a win over Gonzaga
LAS VEGAS — For the second year in a row, BYU and Gonzaga will playing in the West Coast Conference championship game Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
The Cougars and Bulldogs split their two games in the regular season. Gonzaga beat BYU 87-80 in Provo in December.
BYU returned the favor on March 20th when they beat 3rd ranked Gonzaga in Spokane 73-70, ending the Bulldogs 22-game winning streak and their 41-game home winning streak. Gonzaga is in the tournament final for the 18th straight time, and they’ve won the WCC tournament two years in a row, so beating the Bulldogs for a second time this season will not be easy for BYU.
“I think we understand the challenge,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “It’s a deep team. It’s a team that’s got a very good balance to them. We’ve got a real challenge, but I know our guys have confidence in our ability to beat them.”
BYU goes into Tuesday’s match up playing well. They’ve won eight games in a row to put themselves back in contention for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. A win Tuesday would give BYU an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, but the Cougars have not won a conference tournament title since 2001.