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Let the No. 1 Seed Talk Begin

26 February 2011 Brett Richins 39 Comments

BYU disappoints SDSU's "The Show" yet again

For the second time this season the BYU Cougars took out No. 4 San Diego State by a margin of 13 points, completing a sweep of the Aztecs.

This time it was in front of a uber-hostile San Diego State home crowd in one of the most anticipated sporting events in the history of San Diego.

The Aztecs’ first bucket of the game was the only thing that stopped BYU from leading from tipoff to the final buzzer in the 80-67 victory.

In the process, the Cougars have all but wrapped up the Mountain West Conference regular season title, the top seed in the MWC tournament and put themselves squarely in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

The national debate will now rage as to whether BYU’s deserves such a lofty seed.

BYU’s resumeĀ  now includes three wins against teams that have appeared in the top 10 this year. The Cougars will almost assuredly reclaim No. 1 spot in the RPI after today’s win, they also have a 8-1 record against the RPI top-50 and a sparkling 11-1 record against teams projected to make the NCAA tourney by bracketologist Joe Lunardi.

Cougars get balanced effort

The nation learned today BYU is far from a one-man team. Jimmer Fredette got his 25 points and nine assists, but he got big-time support from Charles Abouo, Noah Hartsock and Jackson Emery.

Abouo was the player of the game, scoring 18 points on 6-11 shooting, including an amazing 4-5 from three point range. Charles also pulled down nine rebounds, came up with two steals and had one blocked shot. He also played his usual tough defense, often drawing SDSU star Kahwi Leonard. He was one of the reasons Leonard scored just five points in the second half.

Hartsock was able to find his range once again from the outside, going 3-4 from three and 6-7 overall on his way to contributing 15 huge points. Noah also played very well defensively with four blocked shots while pulling down five rebounds. Hartsock and Abouo helped BYU actually out-rebound the Aztecs 37-36 in the game.

Jackson Emery scored 13 points, pulled down three boards and came up with two steals. The nation saw why many believe BYU has the best backcourt in the nation.

Strong Evidence

BYU’s ability to deal with today’s crazy environment and the way the Cougars had an answer for every Aztec run is evidence that this BYU team is going to be a tough out come tournament time.

Each time that SDSU looked like it was going to get something going, BYU showed composure and a will to win with its own run to quiet Viejas Arena. In the end “The Show” was disappointing once again as the Cougars walked off the court with the win and proved that they are the class of the Mountain West Conference in 2010-11.

By taking care of business at home against New Mexico and Wyoming next week, BYU will enter the MWC tournament with a legitimate claim to the top seed in the West at the Big Dance. A MWC tournament title may just push the Cougars over the top.

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39 Comments »

  • Mark W said:

    So nice to be able to leave SDSU with a loss with all the smack talk coming from radio announcers, coaches and the like this last year. Just like you said Brett, the gravy train is leaving the station. Would love to lay the wood at tourneytime as well!

  • Gary Jacobson said:

    Officials for BYU-SDSU game: Scott Thornley, Mike Reed, Tony Padilla. Reed is official who told Rose to take Jimmer out of game vs. Utes. But Lunquist, Kellogg and Kerr all pointed out the obvious fouls against Fredette that were not called, wondering why a player that goes to the basket time-after-time, and is fouled, does not get the call. Jimmer didn’t have a single foul shot in the first half.

    Sign in SDSU crowd draws chuckle from CBS’ Verne Lundquist, Steve Kerr: “You need more white dudes.” I wonder if that is why Charles-in-charge, took charge … and why Brandon threw down a couple with authority, and rebounded with more gusto than is the norm.

    Lundquist, Kerr and Kellogg mentioned several times about the creative SDSU signage, showing some, but commented that they couldn’t show most of them on TV.

    San Diego State fans chanted “Rogaine, Rogaine” at BYU’s Noah Hartsock, who seemed to get a kick out of the suggestion.

    Big screen at Viejas showed a woman holding a “Mormons for SDSU” sign. Drew a big cheer from the crowd.

    One thing that stuck in the Aztec’s craw … no replaygate. And the SDSU bloggers have long complained that BYU’s success is due to their older, more mature RMs … well, it’s got to fruistrate them when the top two scorers did not go on missions.

    The chant B-Y-U, B-Y-U, B-Y-U broke out during first media timeout. The Aztecs answered with “Sucks” at the end of the chant. BYU 6, SDSU 2

  • Gary Jacobson said:

    Through it all, the BYU guys seemed to be just having more fun, while SDSU’s players looked like they had sucked a bullet … anyone else notice? There wasn’t one bad thing about this game from the Cougars.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Texas loses to Colorado… Cougs up to at least #5 this week.

  • Bob Henstra said:

    The “freak show” materialized. I think out student section should be called the “White SS” Since students around the country are giving their cheering sections names, lets hear some suggestions—

    Bob

  • AZ Coug said:

    Kudos to “The Show” for enthusiasm, but a solid goose-egg for class. Even the CBS guys commented that they could not do crowd close-ups due to the language on the signs held by SDSU fans. And trying to throw a drink on Jimmer as he left the court? Candy and stuff thrown on the court near the end of the game? I grew up in the San Diego area and have tried to like them over the years, but today shows why I’m glad we’re out of this conference.

  • 1984cougs said:

    I was at the game! It was awesome! But I wouldn’t title an article, “Let the #1 seed talk start” until after the MWC tourny, or at least until after we play New Mexico again…you know since what happened last time.

    Most common sign at Viejas Arena…

    C an’t
    B eat
    S DSU

    Best sign?

    C Jimmer
    B Jimmer
    S Jimmer

    Most confusing sign?

    An SDSU student holding a sign that said “What Would Jimmer Do?” Can’t figure out how that is a cut down.

    Class-less acts by SDSU student body?

    1. Chanting Bulls*** for about 2 minutes when Billy White fouled out
    2. Throwing food on to the court with about 1:30 left in the game
    3. Student who spit on Jimmer as the team walked out…followed by a CLASSY act of SDSU fans booing him and pointing out to security who he was.

    Man what a great atmosphere. The boys in blue represented well! Never traililng after the opening possession. The SDSU crowd was all but silenced the whole game.

  • Hoax said:

    What a fantastic victory for the Cougars! Balanced effort, and just incredible performances from Abuou and Hartstock especially.

    If we win out including the tourney??? #1 seed here we come!

  • Brett Richins said:

    Now Duke, Texas and SDSU have lost. Pitt is at Louisville on Sunday. Cougars could move up as high as #3 by Monday.

  • Greg said:

    The real question is whether the selection committee will assess BYU’s body of work or just assign them an 8- or 9-seed out of habit. :)

  • Brett Richins said:

    Greg,

    LOL… and match them up against Texas A&M.

  • Brett Richins said:

    ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi is now saying that the Cougars are a #1 seed on his board slated to come out on Sunday.

  • Jim Tills said:

    I was at the game and saw the best team in the nation play almost a perfect game. Jimmer was hammered without fouls being called consistently. Yet he still lit up the scoreboard. Noah and Charles and Jackson were incredible. What a treat to see it firsthand and to see the rowdy crowd deflated.
    By their miscalling of charging calls against BYU players when they were blocks; and by blocking fouls on BYU when they were charging fouls committed by SDSU, BYU was handicapped by at least another 10 points. These miscalls almost cost both Brandon and Jimmer five fouls, a rarity for Jimmer especially. After the game, I overheard several SDSU fans saying how BYU got all the calls from the refs. I could not have disagreed more. Refs are human and make mistakes but in my opinion, it was way over the top for the home team this time around. Usually nothing is said when your team wins, but if this game had been closer, it would have been a huge factor. I’m just so happy our team was superior in every category or statistic and the refereeing did not have to be brought up as a poor excuse.
    I am still pumped over what an incredible performance our men gave. Go Cougars!!!! Number One Seed? They surely deserve it if the selection was tomorrow. However, let’s wait until after the New Mexico and Wyoming games and the MWC Tournament. If we are 32 and 2, there will be no question of a number one seed.

  • Bob Henstra said:

    Hey, the refs will always be there! Frank Arnold used to say “it’ll always be five against seven” Just like you must learn to work around the other teams strengths, you must learn to work around the refs and how they’re calling games.

    Lets hope the WSS (white Shirt Section)is going strong this Wednesday, we can make noise too, but in a clever clean way!

    Bob

  • Dave said:

    I agree with both Jim and Bob, the officiating was pretty blatant in favor of SDSU. It was pretty clear that the refs were gonna let Jimmer get hammered, especially after the shot he took where Rahon came up and slapped his arm so hard you could hear it over the TV (rewatched it several times…it’s pretty hilarious) and then Billy White blocked the “shot”. No call from the refs and that was the only time I saw Jimmer react and talk to the officials.

    But as you said, Bob, you gotta learn to play through and BYU flat out played through it. It was pretty remarkable that, with a little over 5 mins to go, Rogers went down with the ankle, Anderson was already out with the poked eye/concussion and KC was down with the flu, so we go back to our starting five with Davies and Fredette each hampered by 4 fouls and Noah playing with a sprained foot…and we answered every shot that came at us. Abouo and Davies were the closing minute heroes, in my opinion, with the huge shots and big rebounds. What a heckuva game! Bring on the Lobos, and go Cougs!

  • Blake said:

    Let the No. 1 Seed Talk Begin… After the Cougars beat NM, WY, and three MWC Tourney opponents. There, I fixed your headline. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Go, Cougars!

  • Alma said:

    One of the coolest things about this game was that it was in front of a national audience. Those of us out in “flyover country” (Minnesota in my case) never get to watch the Cougars play. So we were thrilled to be able to watch such a good game. It’s too bad BYU is leaving a pretty good conference just as it begins to gel into a really good conference, but I for one will really enjoy being able to follow them first hand rather than just reading about games. Go Cougs!

  • Brett Richins said:

    Blake,

    You may have missed the fact that every national sports media outlet is already debating if BYU should be a #1 seed. Huge exposure going on for the program and school. That’s the point of the article, don’t get too caught up in a headline.

  • Brandon said:

    As much as I think they deserve it, BYU wont get a 1 seed because all of the games featuring #1’s are at the Friday-Sunday locations, and we know BYU wont play on Sunday. This will be the perfect excuse for the selection committee.

  • Dennis said:

    I know the debate about BYU getting a number one seed is fun, but would somebody please explain to me which number one seed could possibly allow for BYU’s mandate not to play on Sunday. The East, Southeast and Southwest #1s are scheduled to play March 18 and 20. No chance because the second round is on Sunday. The West #1 first and second round is on March 17 and 19, fine, but round 3 and 4 are on March 25 and 27. Again Sunday is not allowed. The only route and the absolute best seed that the Cougars can get is a #2 and then only in the Southeast. Am I missing something? Great game Cougars, we can do it from #2.

  • Eric said:

    Do we really want to go with “White SS” as the name of the BYU student section?! Wasn’t there already a group of white dudes with the name of “SS” back in the 1940s? (Germans, as I recall. And I think they may have been involved in a couple of crimes against humanity, as well, if I’m remembering correctly.)

    Just asking.

  • Ryan F said:

    Great game. I was amazed at how many 3 pointers our team made. 14-24. Fredette had a short run there where he DRAINED some 3 pointers in the first half.

    If Fredette spreads the ball more when he draws double teams, we have a lot to look forward to.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Dennis,

    BYU can be a number one seed and play in Denver or Tucson in the first two rounds, then on to Anaheim if they advance to the Sweet 16.

  • 1984cougs said:

    Just looked at Joe Lunardi’s board…BYU is #2 in the west with Texas as #1

  • Brett Richins said:

    1984cougs,

    Lunardi hasn’t updated his board since Friday. He has already gone on record saying that BYU will be a #1 seed in the next release… guessing that will be in the morning. FYI, BYU is back to number one in the RPI.

  • Dennis said:

    Brett,
    Denver has no number one seeds and the Anaheim games are Friday/Sunday. Will they change the tourney dates and places to accommodate a #1 seed BYU?

  • Corbin said:

    @1984cougs-That bracket was updated on Feb.25. Joe Lunardi was on ESPN yesterday said he has BYU as a one seed. We shall see though. Great time to be a Cougar fan.

  • cory said:

    Question, I know BYU doesn’t play on Sunday, and knowing this, would the powers at be still place them in a Friday/Sunday bracket to force them out?

  • Steve said:

    I love the bench. Good old Anderson does not get much press but have you ever notice that when he is in the game the other team always have to alter their shots around him. Did you love it then he reached over the head of the SD player and grabbed the ball so strong the SD player flu to the ground out of bounce. Go Anderson. Evey man on the team counts. Hope his eye is oaky. He is a great back up espeically when we are playing zone. He feels the whole key.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Dennis,

    The seeds and sites are not locked in and can be mixed and matched. Things have become more flexible in recent years in an effort to reduce travel for all teams involved. The West Regional in Anaheim is scheduled for March 24th and 26th a Thurs./Sat. schdedule.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Steve,

    Agreed. James Anderson doesn’t have much of a game offensively, but he causes real problems for teams defensively. James is definitely undervalued by a good many BYU fans. It’s a good bet that he will play a huge role somewhere along the line in the NCAA’s.

  • Brett Richins said:

    With Pitt’s loss today the Cougars may move up to #3 in the polls tomorrow, jumping ahead of SDSU, Pitt, Texas and Duke.

  • bfwebster said:

    Brett:

    I don’t know much about basketball — this is probably the first time in about 35 years that I’ve seriously followed BYU hoops — but I have been watching just about every game since BYU took on CSU some weeks back. Here’s my question for you: Jimmer hasn’t been dominating as much the second half the MWC season, I presume because the other teams have all actually played against him once before and have a better idea of how to slow him down? (“Slow” being a relative word, since he almost always makes his average PPG and, I believe, has been the leading scorer in every MWC conference game he’s played in.)

    If that is the case, then it seems to me BYU could make a very deep run in the NCAA indeed, since the odds are relatively low that they will face a team that has already played them. I strongly suspect that seeing Jimmer on film is not the same as actually playing against him on the floor. :-) Because of that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jimmer’s PPG average for the NCAA tournament look more like his PPG average for the first half of the MWC season. Your thoughts? ..bruce..

  • Brett Richins said:

    Bruce,

    I believe you are correct in your assumption that it will be tougher for teams to deal with Jimmer the first time around. Digger Phelps said that very thing on Game Day on Saturday. The teams in the Mountain West have been trying to figure how how to defend him for two-plus years now. The other thing to remember is that he will get a fairer shake from officials in the NCAA’s.

  • David said:

    Loved the game. I was there. For me it ranked up there with the John Beck to Johnny Harline Utah game. (I was at that one too). It was even more fun than this years UNLV game at Vegas.(made it to that one too) Hard to believe since the fans bailed at the 8 minute mark like cockroaches with the lights on. I actually thought the fans were better behaved this year. Probably too early to get liquored up. Came home with quite a few white “missionary” shirts left behind by “the show”. Best sign Jimmer “the show” stopper.

  • abqcougar said:

    Great game cougs! Got a little annoyed about Gottlieb comment about being a #2, posssibly #3 seed. I tweeted him and his response was that we split with Zona/UCLA and hadn’t played anyone really. I sent him a response and am currently awaiting his.

    As far as the game goes, does anyone enjoy listening to Wrubell like I do. Wtih the TUNEIN RADIO application for iphone, ipad and other smartphones, it has become my very favorite app all time. I can listen to pregame, game and postgame to my favorite people who call that games as I see them. It’s nice to get the national perspective, but nothing like listening to Wrubell when the Cougars are draining shots and playing well. His excitement is contagious and a real joy.

    Anyway, really enjoyed the gravy train article Brett, esp after witnessing some of the classless rhetory I saw on Saturday. It may have been a tidge low brow, but sometimes the truth really hurts. Keep it up, I look forward to much more entertaining articles and Cougar basketball along with the Jimmer show, what a fun time to be a fan. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could organize a monumental party for the team after all is said and done, regardless of how well we do in the NCAA tournament. This team has already surpassed expectations and provided more joy than any other team dating back to the days of Mike Smith, Durant and Ainge. Just an idea maybe we could get on board with. Keep up the good work. Go Cougars! See you all in Vegas, and then in Anaheim!

  • Zac said:

    I hope they get a 2 seed so they go into the tournament with a chip on their shoulder rather than the extra pressure of being a one seed. There isn’t much difference between the 2 seeds. Once you make it to the sweet 16, every team will present different challenges.

    That game was one of the funnest games I’ve watched. It bodes well that we are winning even when Jimmer is struggling from the field. That will only help come tourney time. I’ve heard it said a few times that BYU will go as far as Jimmer can take them. I think it is the other way around, they will go as far as Jackson, Abouo, Noah, Brandon and KC take them. I am excited to see how far they can go.

  • Fan in Orem said:

    James Anderson is as good a player as Greg Kite was when he was here, and Greg did alright for himself.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Fan in Orem,

    Greg was bigger and stronger than James is. He was also a better rebounder and offensive player.

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