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BYU, which is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has a policy of not playing games on Sundays. That could force the NCAA to juggle the tournament schedule if the Cougars advance to the Sweet 16.

The selection committee placed BYU in the East Region, which means that if the Cougars win two games, they would be scheduled for a Sweet 16 game on March 28, a Sunday. That would potentially force BYU into a forfeit.

But in a season in which everything has been different, the NCAA would go to its “BYU Rule,” which it was prepared to implement the last time this happened to the Cougars. It involves, as ESPN’s Myron Medcalf explained, swapping the schedules of the East whose Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games will take place March 28 and March 30 (a Sunday and a Tuesday) with those of the Midwest Region, which has games March 27 and March 29 (Saturday and Monday). That would reduce the days of rest between games to four and give the Midwest teams an extra day of rest, playing in the Sunday-Tuesday slot.

The situation is a repeat of contingency plans made in 2003. That year, the selection committee assigned the Cougars to the South Region, whose final fell on a Sunday. The NCAA rectified it by reassigning BYU to the Midwest region semifinals, scheduled for Thursday and Saturday, if it advanced. The switcheroo never happened, however, because BYU lost in the first round.

BYU, 20-6 this season and in the Big Dance for the first time since 2015, has advanced to the Sweet 16 twice before, in 1981 and 2011. The Cougars, seeded sixth in the East, will play the winner of Thursday’s game between Michigan State and UCLA in a first-round game Saturday. With a victory, they would then play the winner of the Texas-Abilene Christian first-round game Monday.

Source: WP