Editor’s note: A version of this story was originally published on Feb. 29, 2024.

The Mark Pope era at BYU has come to a close.

Kentucky announced the 51-year-old former Wildcat as its new head basketball coach Friday morning, bringing an end to an entertaining five-year run for Cougar hoops in Provo.

Though an NCAA Tournament victory eluded him, Pope still garnered plenty of wins during his BYU tenure.

Since taking over the program in 2019, Pope posted a 110-52 record, putting him second all-time in career winning percentage at BYU (67.9%) among all coaches with more than 100 outings.

There are plenty of memorable options to choose from, but here’s my list of what I believe to have been Mark Pope’s top 10 wins at BYU.

BYU guard Alex Barcello, left, shoots next to Oregon forward Quincy Guerrier during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. | Craig Mitchelldyer, Associated Press

10. No. 12 Oregon (Nov. 16, 2021)

BYU’s early season stomping of Oregon at Portland’s Phil Knight Invitational was as eye-popping as it was historic — it marked the first time that an unranked unit beat a top 15 team by more than 30 points away from home since 1993.

The Cougars dominated the Ducks from start to finish on national television, earning an 81-49 win behind 25 points from Alex Barcello and a scorching 59.6% collective shooting effort.

BYU point guard Dallin Hall drives for a layup against San Diego State on Nov. 10, 2023. | Nate Edwards

9. No. 17 San Diego State (Nov. 10, 2023)

Talk about an immediate statement. Pope’s Cougars began turning heads this year when they outplayed the defending national runner-up Aztecs in the second game of the season. In the game, Dallin Hall, Richie Saunders and Jaxson Robinson came off the bench to combine for 42 points in a 74-65 BYU dub.

Beating San Diego State also marked the Cougars’ first of five Quad One wins this season — matching their total from the past two years combined.

BYU guard Te'Jon Lucas drives against Saint Mary's defenders on Jan. 8, 2022. | Nate Edwards

8. Saint Mary’s (Jan. 8, 2022)

Despite finishing just 1 of 13 from 3-point range, BYU forced 19 turnovers and held Saint Mary’s to a 29.3% shooting clip to fend off the Gaels at home in an ugly 52-43 victory.

Te’Jon Lucas led all Cougar scorers with 10 points, while Foussyeni Traore grabbed 11 rebounds and Atiki Atiki Ally swatted three blocks against a Saint Mary’s team that finished the year ranked No. 17 in KenPom and No. 18 in the AP poll.

BYU guard Spencer Johnson celebrates a made 3-pointer against Iowa State on Jan. 16, 2024. | BYU Photo

7. No. 24 Iowa State (Jan. 16, 2024)

When this win happened in January, it marked BYU’s first instance of besting a proven Big 12 foe handily and with flair. With Iowa State ultimately winning the conference tournament title and finishing No. 8 in the AP poll, the triumph has become even more impressive since.

The Cougars led by as many as 24 points in an 87-72 beatdown of the Cyclones, in which Spencer Johnson posted a career-high 28 points along with five assists and nine boards.

BYU guard Brandon Averette (4) blocks a shot by San Diego State guard Terrell Gomez (3) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in San Diego. | Denis Poroy, Associated Press

6. @ No. 18 SDSU (Dec. 18, 2020)

BYU may have blown a late 17-point lead, but a Brandon Averette 3-pointer in the game’s final minute kept the Cougars afloat for a road upset of the Aztecs, who ended the year ranked No. 16 in the AP poll.

Alex Barcello dropped 22 points along with seven rebounds and seven assists, while both Averette and Matt Haarms added another 10 points apiece in BYU’s premier résumé-boosting, nonconference win of the 2020-21 campaign. The Cougars ultimately earned a 6 seed that year in their first NCAA tournament appearance in six years.

Houston center Brison Gresham (55) leaves the court as BYU players celebrate a 72-71 win during an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in Houston. | Michael Wyke/Houston Chronicle via AP

5. @ Houston (Nov. 15, 2019)

This game wasn’t just Pope’s first signature moment at BYU — it was the moment that thrust the Cougars program back into national relevance.

Trailing by a point with 5.1 seconds remaining, T.J. Haws received the inbounds pass in the back court, hustled all the way down to the key and launched an off-balance, contested fadeaway jumper that took a friendly bounce into the basket as time expired for a dramatic 72-71 road stunner.

In addition to Haws’ heroics, Alex Barcello, Jake Toolson and Kolby Lee all scored in double figures, leading BYU past a solid Houston squad that finished the year ranked No. 14 in KenPom.

BYU forward Fousseyni Traore (45) reacts to a play, near Creighton's Baylor Scheierman (55) and Trey Alexander (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Las Vegas. BYU won 83-80. | Ronda Churchill, Associated Press

4. No. 21 Creighton (Dec. 10, 2022)

Upsetting a ranked Creighton team as a 10-point underdog is one thing, but doing it right after being embarrassed at home by UVU made this 83-80 BYU win at the Jack Jones Hoopfest in Las Vegas all the more incredible.

The Cougars led by 11 points with just over three minutes remaining, only to completely fall apart down the stretch and trail by one with 26 seconds to play. Dallin Hall drove to the hole, missed a shot but grabbed his own rebound for a tough put-back to retake the lead, then later buried two free throws to ice the evening and leave the Bluejays dumbfounded.

Rudi Williams led the BYU charge with 26 points and four rebounds off the bench, while Foussyeni Traore added an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double against a Creighton squad that ended up going all the way to the Elite Eight just a few months later.

BYU center Aly Khalifa shoots a 3-pointer against Baylor on Feb. 20, 2024. | Nate Edwards

3. No. 11 Baylor (Feb. 20, 2024)

In what was arguably a must-win game, Pope’s crew stifled Baylor’s explosive offense for a 78-71 upset victory to prove they were capable of out-dueling anyone in the conference. Such a performance likely served as the necessary confidence boost to ride into Kansas and score another big time W ... but more on that one later.

Aly Khalifa played the game of his life. The “Egyptian magician” dazzled the national ESPN audience by hitting four 3-pointers and dishing out seven assists with seven rebounds. Jaxson Robinson added another 16 points off the bench, and BYU held the typically efficient Bears to just a 5-of-20 shooting mark from distance.

Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs (23) celebrates with fans after BYU toppled No. 2-ranked Gonzaga 91-78 at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

2. No. 2 Gonzaga (Feb. 22, 2020)

Aside from Jimmer Fredette’s famed clash with Kawhi Leonard and No. 4 San Diego State in 2011, toppling the hated No. 2-ranked Zags was easily the most electric night in Marriott Center history.

Everything Pope did in his inaugural campaign with the Cougars built toward the chance to challenge Gonzaga. Pope even had BYU students practice storming the court before the season (which is hilarious to think about now given recent controversy) to prepare for such an occasion.

In hindsight, it feels like there was no way BYU could lose in its crazily-hyped home finale. The anticipation, the energy and all the Marriott magic imaginable made for a powerful, emotional atmosphere fit for a signature moment in school history.

Yoeli Childs put up 28 points with 10 rebounds, while Jake Toolson and T.J. Haws added 17 and 16 points each, respectively. “3YU” hit 11 3-pointers and forced 14 Gonzaga turnovers in the deafening 91-78 triumph, leading to the very court storming scene Pope had manifested before the year even began.

BYU guards Jaxson Robinson, right, and Richie Saunders (15) hug after their victory over No. 7 Kansas.
BYU guards Jaxson Robinson, right, and Richie Saunders hug after Cougars knocked off No. 7 Kansas Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Lawrence, Kan. BYU won 76-68. | Charlie Riedel, Associated Press

1. @ No. 7 Kansas (Feb. 27, 2024)

How could No. 1 be anything else?

Upsetting a top 10 team on the road is one thing, but to do it at college basketball’s premier cathedral — where Kansas had been undefeated this past season and where it had lost just 17 times in the past 21 years(!) — is the stuff of legend.

The Cougars refused to be intimidated by the rowdy Phog Allen Fieldhouse faithful, rallying from a 12-point second half deficit all the way to an improbable 76-68 finish for arguably the biggest Big 12 conference win all year.

By the game’s conclusion, it was obvious that Pope and his assistants had outsmarted legendary Jayhawks coach Bill Self on the evening, crafting and adjusting the perfect offensive game plan to pick apart the Kansas switch-five defensive effort.

Dallin Hall scored 18 points, including a dagger 3-point shot over All-American Hunter Dickinson with 1:34 remaining to all but bury the Jayhawks late. Jaxson Robinson added another 18 points off the bench, as BYU practically punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament and proved its worth as a legitimate force both within the Big 12 and nationally.