It's a difficult existence being in a conference with Gonzaga because you're nearly guaranteed to finish no better than second in the league and be forever overshadowed. That's not fun. But that doesn't mean there aren't other high-level programs in the West Coast Conference — and there seems to be more than usual right now.
The WCC has real depth this season.
Sure, the Zags remain the class of the conference — but BYU, San Francisco and Saint Mary's have also emerged as legitimate at-large candidates to make the 2022 NCAA Tournament. BYU improved to 6-0 late Saturday with a 75-64 win at Utah. San Francisco is 8-0 with wins over Davidson and UAB. And Saint Mary's is 6-1 with wins over Notre Dame and Oregon (and a lone loss to Wisconsin). The byproduct of that is that the West Coast Conference currently has four top-40 KenPom teams. That's the same number as the Big East and more than the Pac-12 and American Athletic Conference have at the moment.
Can we get a #FourBidWCC?
That obviously remains to be seen. But we spent some time discussing it on Wednesday's episode of the Eye On College Basketball Podcast and detailed how and why it's definitely in play. And if you haven't been paying attention to BYU specifically, it's time to right that wrong because Mark Pope is low-key running one of the sport's best programs. He's 50-15 since replacing Dave Rose after the 2018-19 season with back-to-back top-20 finishes at KenPom. He just guided the Cougars to a win at Utah for the first time since 2011.
BYU remains No. 10 in Sunday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Cougars' next game is Wednesday at Utah Valley, otherwise known as the place where Pope coached for four seasons before leaving for BYU.
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Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Paolo Banchero finished with 21 points and five rebounds in Friday's 84-81 win over Gonzaga. The Blue Devils' next game is Tuesday against Ohio State.||--||5-2|
|Gonzaga finished with nine more turnovers than Duke in Friday's 84-81 loss to the Blue Devils. The Zags' next game is Monday against Tarleton State.||--||5-1|
|Zach Edey finished with 20 points and six rebounds in Friday's 97-40 win over Omaha. The Boilermakers' next game is Tuesday against Florida State.||--||7-0|
|UCLA shot just 34.8% from the field in Tuesday's 83-63 loss to Gonzaga. The Bruins' next game is Saturday against UNLV.||--||4-2|
|Villanova allowed Purdue to shoot 52.7% from the field in Sunday's 80-74 loss to the Boilermakers. The Wildcats' next game is Sunday against La Salle.||--||6-2|
|James Akinjo finished with 15 points, five assists and three steals in Friday's 75-58 win over Michigan State. The Bears' next game is next Saturday against Arkansas Pine Bluff.||--||7-0|
|Timmy Allen finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday's 68-44 win over Cal Baptist. The Longhorns' next game is Monday against Sam Houston State.||--||5-1|
|Au'Diese Toney finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in Tuesday's 73-67 win over Cincinnati. The Razorbacks' next game is Sunday against Penn.||--||5-3|
|Oscar Tshiebwe finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds in Friday's 86-52 win over North Florida. The Wildcats' next game is Monday against Central Michigan.||--||6-1|
|Alex Barcello finished with 17 points and five assists in Saturday's 75-64 win at Utah. The Cougars' next game is Wednesday at Utah Valley.||--||6-0|
|Azuolas Tubelis finished with 22 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 105-59 win over Sacramento State. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday against Washington.||--||6-0|
|Kennedy Chandler finished with 15 points and five steals in Friday's 80-69 win over Tennessee Tech. The Vols' next game is Tuesday against Presbyterian.||--||4-3|
|Kansas allowed Dayton to shoot 52.7% from the field in Friday's 74-73 loss to the Flyers. The Jayhawks' next game is Sunday against Iona.||--||6-1|
|Michigan State finished with nine assists and 19 turnovers in Friday's 75-58 loss to Baylor. The Spartans' next game is Wednesday against Louisville.||--||4-3|
|Isaiah Whaley finished with 16 points and four rebounds in Friday's 70-63 win over VCU. The Huskies' next game is Tuesday against Maryland Eastern Shore.||--||7-0|
|Jabari Smith finished with 22 points and six rebounds in Friday's 89-68 win over Syracuse. The Tigers' next game is Wednesday against UCF.||--||5-1|
|Drew Peterson finished with 16 points and six rebounds in Friday's 58-43 win over San Diego State. The Trojans' next game is Wednesday against Utah.||1||5-2|
|Fabian White Jr. finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday's 78-48 win over Oregon. The Cougars' next game is Tuesday against Northwestern State.||1||7-0|
|Phlandrous Fleming Jr. got 19 points off the bench in Wednesday's 71-68 win over Ohio State. The Gators' next game is Sunday against Troy.||1||4-3|
|Gabe Kalscheur finished with 30 points and eight rebounds in Friday's 78-59 win over Memphis. The Cyclones' next game is Wednesday against Arkansas Pine Bluff.||1||5-2|
|Memphis finished with eight assists and 22 turnovers in Friday's 78-59 loss to Iowa State. The Tigers' next game is Wednesday at Georgia.||1||5-1|
|Jahvon Quinerly finished with 18 points and four assists in Friday's 80-71 win over Drake. The Crimson Tide's next game is Sunday against Miami.||1||5-2|
|Ohio State allowed Florida to grab 16 offensive rebounds in Wednesday's 71-68 loss to the Gators. The Buckeyes' next game is Tuesday against Duke.||1||6-1|
|Jared Rhoden finished with 21 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday's 62-59 over Cal. The Pirates' next game is Sunday against Bethune Cookman.||1||5-2|
|Alex Fudge finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 75-61 win over Wake Forest. The Tigers' next game is Wednesday against Ohio.||1||4-3|
|Johnny Davis finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday's 61-55 win over Saint Mary's. The Badgers' next game is Wednesday at Georgia Tech.||NR||5-2|