BYU women’s basketball unveils first Big 12 schedule
The Big 12 released its women’s basketball conference schedule for the upcoming season Tuesday morning.
Earlier in July, the Big 12 released all the teams BYU would play during the season, and now we know exactly when.
As of Tuesday, the Cougars are not projected to make the NCAA tournament this season but will have many opportunities to prove themselves worthy of the “big dance.”
BYU will play a total of 18 conference games — including nine games against projected NCAA tournament teams according to ESPN Bracketologist Charlie Creme. He projects the Big 12 to put seven teams into the NCAA tournament; certainly a step up in competition from the WCC.
In the WCC, BYU needed a near-flawless resume to gain an at-large bid in March. This season, even if the Cougars do not contend for a Big 12 title, being a .500 team in conference play with quality wins against the Big 12 would get them into the tournament this season.
BYU opens its Big 12 era on the road against TCU in Fort Worth on December 30.
The Horned Frogs finished at the bottom of the Big 12 last season with a 1-17 record in conference play but are a projected NCAA tournament team this year. TCU’s new head coach, Mark Campbell, rebuilt his roster through the transfer portal during the offseason and looks to lead the Horned Frogs back to the NCAA tournament.
Next up for BYU, its Big 12 home opener against a familiar and formidable foe is the Oklahoma Sooners on January 3. BYU will get one crack at the defending Big 12 champions before Oklahoma leaves for the SEC next season.
A subject talked about at nauseating amounts during this round of conference realignment is the increase in travel required of student-athletes. For one lone season, the closest Big 12 school to BYU is Texas Tech, just over 700 miles away. This year the Cougars will rack up the miles as they travel to UCF and Cincinnati. With the additions of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah to the Big 12 in 2024, BYU will not be in this predicament after the 2023-24 season.
For many Cougar fans, the most anticipated game of the year will be the last game of the season against Texas. The Cougars will match up against former teammate and WCC Player of the Year Shaylee Gonzalez and the reigning Big 12 champion Longhorns. In what is sure to be a season of highs and lows for BYU women’s basketball, the end of the regular season gives them a chance to end on the highest of highs as the Cougars head into postseason play.