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Is there a Utah team in the latest Bracketology?

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi released his latest projections for the NCAA Tournament field, with the summer update including BYU and Southern Utah

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BYU coach Mark Pope claps on the sideline of a game against the Pacific Tigers at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope works the sideline during the game against the Pacific Tigers at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Both BYU and Southern Utah appear in the latest NCAA Tournament Bracketology predictions from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi just gave BYU and Southern Utah basketball fans a morsel of information for those dry college basketball summer months.

The Cougars show up in Lunardi’s latest Bracketology projections for the 2021-22 season, after not appearing previously. “Two new at-large teams join the field for our July update, with BYU and Seton Hall taking the respective places of Arizona and Creighton,” Lunardi wrote.

BYU comes in as a No. 12 seed and among the final four in. In Lunardi’s bracket, the Cougars face fellow No. 12 Seton Hall in a First Four game. 

If the Cougars reach the NCAA Tournament next season, it will be their second straight year in the field. BYU went 20-7 last season, capped by a loss to UCLA in the NCAA’s opening round in March.

BYU isn’t the only Utah team in the latest Bracketology, though. Southern Utah is a new addition, as the projected automatic qualifier from the Big Sky Conference.

The T-Birds won their first regular-season Big Sky title last season. Southern Utah went 20-4 and lost to Montana State in the Big Sky Tournament semifinals in overtime.

Southern Utah last made the NCAA Tournament in 2001.