Saturday’s showdown between No. 23 BYU and No. 2 Gonzaga was one of the biggest games in recent memory.
In fact, it was the first game between ranked teams in the Marriott Center since 2011 when Jimmer Freddette lead No. 9 BYU to a victory over No. 4 San Diego State.
And yes, the atmosphere was just as electric as it was during the ‘JimmerMania’ days!
Led by Yoeli Childs’ 28 points and 10 rebounds, as well as 17 points from Jake Toolson and 16 points from T.J. Haws, the 23rd-ranked Cougars upset No. 2 Gonzaga with a 91-78 victory in front of a sold out crowd (18,987) Saturday night inside the Marriott Center.
RUIN THAT SUIT!! pic.twitter.com/w2QMVtvA2F
— BYU Basketball (@BYUbasketball) February 23, 2020
The win ended the Bulldogs’ 19-game winning streak and gave BYU head coach Mark Pope a signature win in his first year. The victory was even more special as it was Pope’s 100th career win.
Many bracketology experts had BYU as a 7th seed coming into the game. With the victory now, don’t be surprised to see the Cougars move up some slots as a 5th or 6th seed, which would be the highest tournament ranking since the JimmerMania days.
Here’s how national media members, fans, coaches and players reacted after the game.
And it continues:
With (2) Gonzaga losing to (23) BYU tonight, their 19-game win streak comes to an end.
With (1) Baylor and (4) San Diego State losing today, this is just the 4th instance over the last 30 D-I seasons with 3 losses by the AP Top 4 on the same day. pic.twitter.com/pdlY36HL8M
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 23, 2020
I was surprised when BYU fans seemed to mostly dismiss this opinion when I said it yesterday.
The Cougars are good.
They’re 15-2 with Yoeli Childs in the lineup — and they make a higher percentage of their 3-point shots than anybody else in the nation. Dream big. https://t.co/ZXDCVV2Il7
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) February 23, 2020
— Justin Giles (@JustinGiles_) February 23, 2020
— The ROC (@byuROC) February 23, 2020
BYU drops 91 on Gonzaga in Provo. Best Cougars team we've seen since Jimmer Fredette. Mark Pope doing yeoman's work in Year One.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 23, 2020
Good call by @SeanFarnham to also give a shout out to Dave Rose. This roster was built by Rose, one of the best people I've met in this business. Mark Pope took over this team/program and has elevated them this season. @BYUbasketball can get to the @Marchmadness second weekend.
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) February 23, 2020
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 23, 2020
Mark Pope is as peripatetic on the sideline as his old college coach, Rick Pitino. Pope inherited a flush hand but has done a great job with it. On cusp of taking down Gonzaga.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) February 23, 2020
That guy is really smart. https://t.co/CAPWpcXMo8
— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) February 23, 2020
— Gavin Baxter (@gbax25) February 23, 2020
— Trevin Knell (@trevin_knell) February 23, 2020
Now that was Marriott Center magic!!! #BYUhoops
— Nate Austin (@coachnateaustin) February 23, 2020
— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) February 23, 2020
W. What a night! So happy for this @BYUbasketball team and seniors! Amazing!
— Tyler Haws (@tyhaws3) February 23, 2020
Excited to go to the BYU basketball game!! Let’s get this W @BYUbasketball
— Kyle Collinsworth (@bigrussia5) February 22, 2020
— Travis Hansen (@travishansen24) February 23, 2020
What a moment. I’m so happy. So proud. @BYUbasketball IS BACK!!!!!
— Jonathan Tavernari (@For3JT) February 23, 2020
No. 23 BYU handles No. 2 Gonzaga. Biggest win since Jimmer. Here’s the deal, the administration had better be prepared to pony up some more cash to keep Mark Pope
— Patrick Kinahan (@PKKinahan) February 23, 2020
BYU is going to be a nightmare to prepare for in the tourney. Elite three point shooting team which leads to great looks at the rim.
Tonight was an offensive clinic. Staff getting tons of credit (which they should) but that team is just loaded with talent.
— Scott Garrard (@ScottyGZone) February 23, 2020
24/7, relentless, egoless, selfless, best locker room in the country, good better best decision making basketball is doing things few BYU fans thought he could do when he took over the BYU head coaching job.
Amazing season thus far all adversity considered.
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) February 23, 2020
I don't care who you are! Playing in the Marriott Center has become a nightmare for teams.
Craziest BYU MBB season I can remember.
Wildest season I've seen for a college team in a very long time.
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) February 23, 2020
BYU has snapped two different 40+ game streaks by Gonzaga. A 41 game home court winning streak snapped in 2015 and a 40 game regular season WCC streak tonight.
— CougarStats (@CougarStats) February 23, 2020
— Kenneth Cox (@KennyCoxKC) February 23, 2020
— Jarom Jordan (@jaromjordan) February 23, 2020
Atmosphere is off the charts. Can Byu hold on? pic.twitter.com/tAxZcV8ixK
— Jay Drew (@drewjay) February 23, 2020
— ??? ???????, ʜᴏᴏᴘ ɢᴏᴅ (@x_hems) February 23, 2020
BYU Basketball looks like a sweet 16 team tonight..
They all said it, and I didn't believe them until tonight.
Hopefully BYU can keep this up and get an even better seed to improve their chances to make such a run in the NCAA tournament.
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) February 23, 2020
What. A. Win. Biggest win in the last few years. A fun night to be a BYU fan
— Ys Guide (@YsGuide) February 23, 2020
There it is Cougar Nation!!!! So happy right now!!
— Nick Emery (@04NickEmery) February 23, 2020
— Fesi Sitake (@fsitake) February 23, 2020