I'm of the belief, at this point, that Gonzaga is going to enter Selection Sunday with a 33-1 record and be the No. 1 overall seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament. But the Zags do have a real obstacle between themselves and that reality -- and it comes in the form of the BYU Cougars.
BYU is quietly very good.
The Cougars have been unranked in the AP Top 25 poll all season -- mostly because they began the season unranked and then limped to a 6-3 start without their best player, Yoeli Childs, who missed BYU's first nine games because of a suspension. The 6-foot-8 forward then missed four additional games with a finger injury. But he's now both eligible and healthy -- and the Cougars are on a five-game winning streak after Thursday's 77-54 victory at Loyola Marymount.
BYU made a school-record 18 3-pointers in the game.
"I'm just proud of how they're doing it," BYU coach Mark Pope told The Salt Lake Tribune following his team's shooting performance that raised the Cougars' 3-point percentage to 42.4 on the season, which ranks first nationally. "They're doing it by earning shots for each other, and that's pretty special."
With the win, BYU improved to 12-2 with Childs in the lineup and moved to No. 25 in Friday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Cougars will host Gonzaga -- which is on a 17-game winning streak and remains No. 1 in the Top 25 And 1 -- on Feb. 22 inside the Marriott Center. KenPom currently projects the final score of that game to be Gonzaga 82, BYU 80.
Friday's Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Drew Timme got 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in Saturday's 90-60 victory at Saint Mary's. The Zags' 17-game winning streak features 13 double-digit victories.||--||14-2|
|MaCio Teague finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 52-45 win at Texas. The Bears' 21-game winning streak features victories over Kansas, Villanova and Butler.||--||16-2|
San Diego St
|Matt Mitchell finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday's 82-59 victory over New Mexico. The Aztecs are 25-0 for the first time in school history.||--||10-3|
|Isaiah Moss made three 3-pointers and got 13 points off the bench in Wednesday's 58-49 victory at West Virginia. The Jayhawks will take a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Oklahoma.||--||15-2|
|Obi Toppin finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's 81-67 victory over Rhode Island. Both of the Flyers' losses came in overtime to schools also ranked in the Top 25 And 1.||--||12-6|
|Jalen Smith finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday's 72-70 victory over Nebraska. The Terrapins will take a seven-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Michigan State.||--||9-9|
|Tre Jones finished with 13 points and six assists in Monday's 70-65 victory over Florida State. The Blue Devils will take a five-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Notre Dame.||--||14-3|
|Austin Wiley finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds in Wednesday's 95-91 overtime victory over Alabama. Auburn is 5-0 in overtime games this season.||--||16-1|
|The Seminoles missed 15 of the 18 3-pointers they attempted in Monday's 70-65 loss at Duke. Florida State is 3-2 in its past five games.||--||11-5|
|Mike Watkins got 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in Tuesday's 88-76 victory at Purdue. Penn State will take a seven-game winning streak in Saturday's game with Northwestern.||--||8-7|
|The Pirates missed 24 of the 31 3-pointers they attempted in Wednesday's 87-82 loss to Creighton. Seton Hall has a two-game lead in the Big East standings with just six regular-season games remaining.||--||11-5|
|Damien Jefferson finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in Wednesday's 87-82 victory at Seton Hall. The Bluejays are 6-1 in their past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Providence.||--||10-5|
|Tyrese Maxey made three 3-pointers and finished with 25 points in Tuesday's 78-64 victory at Vanderbilt. The Wildcats are 7-1 in their past eight games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Auburn.||1||14-3|
|Jordan Nwora only scored two points in Wednesday's 64-58 loss at Georgia Tech. The Cardinals are just 4-3 in Quadrant 1 opportunities with an additional loss coming outside of the first quadrant.||1||10-7|
|Jeremiah Robinson-Earl finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's 72-71 victory over Marquette. The win snapped Villanova's three-game losing streak.||1||13-4|
|Markus Howard became the Big East's all-time leading scorer in Wednesday's 72-71 loss at Villanova. Marquette is 6-2 in its past eight games with the only losses in that stretch coming at Butler and at Villanova.||1||12-6|
|Henry Baddley got nine points off the bench in Wednesday's 66-61 victory over Xavier. The Bulldogs are 13-6 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses outside of the first two quadrants.||1||9-8|
|Will Richardson finished with 21 points and nine rebounds in Thursday's 68-60 victory over Colorado. The win snapped Oregon's two-game losing streak.||3||11-6|
|The Mountaineers committed 19 turnovers in Wednesday's 58-49 loss to Kansas. West Virginia is just 4-4 in its past eight games with two of the losses coming to currently unranked teams.||--||13-4|
|The Buffaloes finished with 18 turnovers and just 14 assists in Thursday's 68-60 loss at Oregon. Colorado has dropped four of its past 11 games with three of those losses coming to currently unranked teams.||7||12-4|
|Skylar Mays finished with 23 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 82-78 victory over Missouri. LSU is 9-1 in the SEC and tied with Auburn and Kentucky in the loss column atop the league standings.||1||15-2|
|Quentin Grimes made three 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in Wednesday's 62-58 victory at USF. The Cougars are 8-1 in their past nine games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Cincinnati.||1||16-2|
|Eli Brooks made four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in Wednesday's 79-54 victory at Northwestern. The Wolverines are 4-1 in their past five games and remain the only team that's defeated Gonzaga.||1||8-7|
|Xavier Tillman finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 70-69 victory at Illinois. Only one of Michigan State's eight losses has come outside of the first quadrant.||1||14-3|
|Alex Barcello made six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in Thursday's 77-54 victory at Loyola Marymount. The Cougars are 12-2 with Yoeli Childs in the lineup.||1||15-4|
|The Hawkeyes allowed Indiana to shoot 52.4% from 3-point range in Thursday's 89-77 loss at Assembly Hall. Iowa is 2-3 in its past five games with multiple losses to currently unranked opponents.||6||13-4|