KANSAS CITY — Wednesday morning brought a whole new pregame routine for the No. 20 BYU Cougars, who had to arise early for their 10:30 a.m. MDT matchup with UCF, a game fifth-seeded BYU won 87-73 to advance to a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal game against fourth-seeded Texas Tech.

Now the Cougars (23-9) get to do it all over again. They will face the Red Raiders (22-9) at the same time Thursday at T-Mobile Center, hoping to continue a season that has been nothing short of remarkable.

“It has been quite the ride,” said sophomore point guard Dallin Hall after he overcame early foul trouble to score 13 points and record four assists against the Knights.

Hall said after BYU’s first-ever Big 12 tournament win that the plan for the remainder of the day was to get back to the Marriott in downtown Kansas City, get some stretching in as a team, then hit the ice tub.

“We will have some time to wind down a little bit, then we will watch film (of Texas Tech), get ready for them,” Hall said.

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Coach Mark Pope said the most immediate task was to get the guys rehydrated (with the exception of center Aly Khalifa, who is fasting during daylight hours for Ramadan) and fed.

“Then we will meet at 4:30 for game prep, pretty much the exact same schedule we had yesterday.”

Khalifa will begin eating and drinking liquids at sundown, go to bed, then arise at 4:30 a.m. before the sun rises to eat breakfast. In his first experience fasting while playing in a competitive game, Khalifa was solid, with eight points in 17 minutes and 25 seconds.

“He was incredible, and he sure didn’t miss a beat to start the game,” Pope said of the 6-foot-11 center from Alexandria, Egypt. “He threw one pass today, guys, that little pocket pass around the wrong side. I was like, ‘What is happening here?’ I thought he was absolutely terrific.”

Khalifa said he felt fine after the game, but was “tired and thirsty” and needed a nap because he wasn’t able to go back to sleep after the 4:30 a.m. meal.

“He was great, and, you know, he’s a believer,” Pope said. “We are all believers, so let’s go.”

While the Cougars went into Tuesday’s game knowing they could beat the Knights — they did so twice in the regular season — they will have no such knowledge against Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders beat BYU 85-78 in Lubbock, overcoming a 48-32 halftime deficit.

The Cougars played that game without starting four man Noah Waterman, who was ill. This time, Texas Tech could be without a key player.

Cougars on the air

Big 12 tournament quarterfinals

No. 25 Texas Tech (22-9)

vs. No. 20 BYU (23-9)

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. MDT

T-Mobile Center, Kansas City


Radio:102.7 FM/1160 AM

Forward Warren Washington, who had 19 points and nine rebounds in 36 minutes against the Cougars at United Supermarkets Arena, has not played since Feb. 24 against UCF.

At Tech’s light practice on Wednesday, coach Grant McCasland said the 7-footer remains questionable.

“My hope is that he comes back soon and my hope was that we would get an opportunity to play him in this tournament, and I think that is to be determined,” McCasland said.

“We just take it practice by practice, shootaround by shootaround and see how he feels. He has been participating more, which I do feel like is positive, but as far as playing for sure, it is too hard to tell.”

Waterman, who had nine points and five rebounds Wednesday, said the key to getting revenge on the Red Raiders will be to have the same mindset that served the Cougars well in their first Big 12 tournament game.

“I think we have shown it all year long, that we have a lot of weapons on the team, and we play as a team,” Waterman said. “That’s why we have had so much success throughout the whole season.”