How to watch the No. 20-ranked Cougars play UCF in the Big 12 Tournament – Deseret News

No. 20 BYU (22-9) vs. UCF (17-14).

Tip: Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. MDT.

Venue: T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri.


Livestream: WatchESPN.

Radio: 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

Series: BYU leads, 2-0.

The trends

For BYU: The Cougars (22-9, 10-8 in Big 12 play) are the No. 5 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and earned an opening-round bye. Winners of three of their last four games, the Cougars have an impressive resume that includes a NET ranking of 12. BYU is 6-7 against Quad 1 opponents this year, 4-2 against Quad 2 opponents, and an undefeated 12-0 against Quad 3 and Quad 4 opponents.

For UCF: The Knights (17-14, 7-11) are on a two-game winning streak, the most recent being a win over Oklahoma State in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament. The Knights struggled during the middle portion of the conference season, but closed the year with wins in four of their final six games.


“Just like every team, we have been working towards this all year long. And not working towards a place where this is a … crescendo pitch, but working towards it like we are trying to prepare and rep and rep and rep to be in this spot. So the guys are grateful to be here.” — BYU coach Mark Pope.

“We have to start studying them again and we have to try to find adjustments that we can make, because we had two close games. They’re a very good basketball team … Mark has done a very good job with this group. We need to study them this evening and find out the thing we need to do better. All we focused on coming into this tournament was Oklahoma State because you never know if that’s going to be your last game or not, and so you pour everything into it, and now we will pour everything into BYU.” — UCF coach Johnny Dawkins.

The stakes

For BYU: The Cougars are, at this point, a guaranteed NCAA Tournament team. Most projections put them around a No. 5 seed in the Big Dance. Winning the Big 12 Tournament in their first year in the league would be memorable, but the tourney offers little more than bragging rights, barring an unexpected deep run by BYU.

For UCF: The Knights are not projected to be an NCAA Tournament team this year, like BYU their first in the Big 12. The NIT is the likely postseason destination for UCF and a surprise run in the Big 12 Tournament could help warrant the Knights a high seed. The more wins the better sort of thing.

Players to watch

For BYU: All eyes should be on Jaxson Robinson, the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year. Robinson has been vital to the Cougars’ success this season — it can be argued he is the team’s best player — all while coming of the bench in a reserve role. Robinson finished the regular season as BYU’s leading scorer with 13.9 points per game, shooting 43% from the field and 34.8% from distance and the senior’s scoring capabilities have made him an genuine NBA draft prospect.

For UCF: Ibrahima Diallo, Darius Johnson and Jaylin Sellers were all Big 12 honorable mention this year, but Johnson is arguably the one to pay the closest attention to. Just before the end of the regular season — against TCU — the guard erupted for 33 points in a key victory for the Knights. In UCF’s opening round win over Oklahoma State, Johnson had only 11 points, but he shot a team-best 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc and handed out a team-high five assists. Johnson has been UCF’s best shooter this season from 3-point range and the team’s chief playmaker.

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