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Morning links: Examining BYU's at-large chances; The New York Times comes to see Utah Gymnastics

With two games remaining in its regular season, BYU is running out of time to impress the NCAA selection committee.

Despite a four-game winning streak heading into the final weekend of play before the West Coast Conference Tournament, the Cougars are still not being projected to make the NCAA tournament by any of the national media. That could all change with two wins this week.

SI.com has BYU as a team that is still in the mix for an at-large selection, and says the Cougars get the chance to prove their worth this week.

“First, they have to beat Portland on the road on Thursday,” Michael Beller writes on the site. “If they do that, they’ll have a chance to prove they belong in the tournament field with a win at Gonzaga on Saturday.”

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has BYU seventh in line among the teams outside of the bracket, while SB Nation’s Chris Dobbertean has the Cougars as the fifth team in waiting. USA Today says BYU is one of the teams currently out of the field, but is still being considered for inclusion.

The Cougars haven’t been eliminated from the at-large conversations, and a win over No. 3 Gonzaga could be enough to push them into the field.

BYU may be on the bubble, but Utah is locked safely into the tournament. Even following the loss to Oregon Sunday, the Utes are predicted to be between a No. 3 to No. 5 seed — just about where they were a week ago. Utah also has one last big opportunity to solidify a high seed before its conference tournament with a matchup against No. 7 Arizona looming Saturday.

Red Rocks get national press

For years, the Utah gymnastics team has been drawing near capacity crowds to the Huntsman Center, and last Friday The New York Times came to see the reason for all the fuss.

New York Times reporter John Branch did a story about how the Red Rocks were able to build such a strong and loyal fan base, and how Utah coach Greg Marsden has sought to bring gymnastics to a more mainstream audience.

“Marsden’s quest to streamline the meets has not always endeared him to coaching peers,” Branch writes. “Utah is the only program to reach the national championships every year of its existence, but it frustrates Marsden that the finals are the “Super Six.” Four teams, rotating through four events, would be much easier to follow for fans and better for television, he argued. The national championships will be shown live only on ESPN3, the network’s online platform, and will attract a far smaller audience than the likes of Utah see each week.”

Other links:

— Dallas Maverick point guard Rajon Rondo had a heated exchange Tuesday with his coach Rick Carlisle. Rondo was benched for the remainder of the game.

— The NFL is closer to returning to Los Angeles after the Inglewood City Council approved plans to build a football stadium that includes St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke as a partner.

— A former NBA player was cut from his team in the Philippines after insulting Manny Pacquiao.

— LeBron James’ 10-year-old son is starting to get letters from colleges, and James isn’t pleased.