Cougars add surprising opponent on the road

Mar 9, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; BYU Cougars guard Alex Barcello (13) celebrates after

Mar 9, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; BYU Cougars guard Alex Barcello (13) celebrates after a 3-point basket against the Gonzaga Bulldogsin the first half of the West Coast Conference Tournament championship at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

BYU Basketball has struggled to get big time opponents in the Marriott Center.

Quad One and Two games have become the driving force behind scheduling games in college basketball. While the idea is great, it has led to some major issues in scheduling. To review what qualified for the first two quads, here is how it works with NET rankings.

  • Quad One : 1-30  at home, 1-50 neutral, or 1-75 on the road
  • Quad Two: 31-75 at home, 51-100 neutral, 76-135 on the road

In this model, two teams can be ranked No. 31 and 32 respectively in NET rankings and one team is playing a Quad One game and the other is playing a Quad Two game despite having essentially the same ranking.

For BYU this makes things very difficult. While they will almost certainly be a Quad One opponent in the Marriott Center, they will likely be a Quad Two opponent in other team’s gyms.

Because of that, top teams are not wanting to play BYU Basketball. Why would they want to risk a Quad Two loss? While Quad Two losses aren’t the worst, they hurt a team’s resume at the end of the season.

At the same time, BYU is in the same scenario. Unless they can get a Top 30 team, is it really worth it to play a Quad Two team, especially because that still has to be a top 75 team? Essentially, in today’s game, unless two teams are both in the top 30, it is almost more worth it to play a Quad Three or Four team that is all but guaranteed to be a win.

With all of that it brings us to today’s basketball announcement. Today, BYU Basketball announced that they will be travelling to Missouri State, in Springfield, Missouri. If it seems odd that BYU is travelling to play a team who plays in the Missouri Valley Conference, you’re right it is odd. But for BYU is makes a ton of sense.

In 2020, Missouri State finished ranked No. 97 in the NET rankings meaning that for BYU it is a Quad Two game opportunity that could end up being a Quad One if Missouri  State can creep into the Top 75.

If BYU had hosted Missouri State, it would have been a Quad Three game that would have been a potential upset. A win against a Quad Three for BYU is worthless, while a loss is devastating.  Now, if BYU loses, it is a Quad Two loss. Again, that doesn’t look great, but the tradeoff seems worth it. BYU Basketball probably wins eight out of ten games against Missouri State, so why not play things in their favor?