BYU has a believer in Sean Farnham.

The ESPN college basketball analyst — and CougarTail enthusiast — named Mark Pope’s squad as one that could make a convincing run in this year’s NCAA tournament.

“They can shoot the ball better than anybody else in the country,” Farnham said on ESPN Sunday night. “They average more than 12 made 3-pointers per game. When they don’t hit their 3-pointers, like we saw the other night in the Big 12 tournament, (when) they only hit seven, they lose. But the night before, they hit 14. They’re more than capable of doing that.”

In their first season in the Big 12, the Cougars rank No. 2 nationally in 3-point attempts per game (32.2), making 34.8% of them. BYU also ranks No. 7 in assist/turnover ratio (1.74), No. 3 in assists (18.6) and No. 6 in bench points (33.3).

“I think they’re more physical than people give them credit,” Farnham said. “They’re an older team, they’re an experienced team. Nine players returned from last year, and so they were able to get off to a hot start.”

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Farnham also credited the Cougars for their personnel capable of creating matchup nightmares for opponents, particularly in the frontcourt.

“Aly Khalifa, who is their center... he’s like a point center, so you have to program or plan for two offenses,” Farnham said. “When Fouss Traore is in there, he’s gonna duck in and post. When Khalifa is in there, he’s gonna lift and they’re gonna play off of him as a passing big. They could get hot from the outside and advance to the Sweet 16.”

No. 6 seed BYU will open its first tournament appearance since 2021 against No. 11-seeded Duquesne in Omaha this Thursday. Should the Cougars prevail, they’d face the winner of Illinois-Morehead State on Saturday.