16 teams ... eight matchups ... and a host of memories.
The Greatest BYU Men’s Basketball Team of All Time Bracket has highlighted some amazing Cougar squads from the last 100 years and gave every BYU fan a chance to dig into the rich hoops history of the program.
But, as with all brackets, only half of them will survive the first round and advance to the Elite 8.
Many of the first-round contests — just like in the NCAA tournament — were probably pretty straightforward. One of the two teams may have stood out as clearly having accomplished more overall during their season.
Now it’s going to get a little bit tougher as good teams meet good teams with both looking to advance.
So get ready to vote and show which squad deserves victory.
Just a reminder: Don’t make your judgment based on which team you think would win if a squad from one era faced a squad from another. Given the numerous changes to the game of basketball in the last century, that method is virtually impossible.
Instead, you should select the team that you think has the better overall body of work — i.e. the one that was the “greatest” of the two that are matched up against each other.
Daily Herald’s BYU reporters Darnell Dickson and/or Jared Lloyd will make a case for each team to help remind you of what they accomplished and then the choice will be yours.
This might be one of the best matchups of the bracket as the amazing Jimmer Fredette’s best team faces the amazing Kresimir Cosic’s best team — but one of the two must be eliminated.
No. 7-seed: BYU 1971-72 (21-5, NCAA first round)
While it might be overshadowed by other teams, this squad actually tied for the fewest losses of any Cougar squad in the modern era as it finished 21-5 overall. It’s regular season losses were pretty impressive as BYU only fell at Kansas, to Indiana at a tournament in Virginia, at Arizona State and at UTEP.
Led by the dominance of junior center Kresimir Cosic (22.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game), plus the scoring of Bernie Fryer (18.2 points per game), the Cougars were ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation at one point and ended up ranked No. 9. If not for an overtime loss to No. 5-ranked Long Beach State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, this team might get a lot more attention for just how good it was during the UCLA-dominated era of college basketball.
— Jared Lloyd
No. 2-seed: BYU 2010-11 (31-5, NCAA Sweet 16)
This was another “what-if?” team: What if Brandon Davies hadn’t been suspended in late February due to an Honor Code violation? There wasn’t a dominant team in college basketball that year and with Davies the Cougars had a good chance of reaching the Final Four.
Jimmer Fredette had a nice setup year as a junior but no one could have predicted he would win the NCAA Player of the Year in 2011. Fredette became the most popular player in the country after scoring 47 points in a win at Utah. The Cougars opened the season winning 20 of their first 21 games, including a memorable 71-58 victory over undefeated San Diego State in a sold out Marriott Center. BYU earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and defeated Wofford (74-66) and Gonzaga (89-67) to earn the school’s first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1981. The Cougars lost to Florida 83-74 in overtime and finished the season with a 32-5 record.
— Darnell Dickson
Which of these two BYU men's basketball teams had the better body of work?
Check back Wednesday for the first matchup of the Final Four round in The Greatest BYU Men’s Basketball Team of All Time Bracket.
Get your final votes in! You can also vote in previous rounds as well: