BYU in women's Final 4 would mean schedule change

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm •  Published: March 28, 2014
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The NCAA would change the schedule of the women's basketball tournament if BYU reaches the national semifinals in Nashville.

The winner of the Lincoln Regional that ends Monday is scheduled to play the Stanford Regional champion on Sunday, April 6. The national title game is set for April 8.

BYU is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and does not participate in athletic activities on Sundays.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the women's basketball committee is aware of the potential conflict and would discuss options if BYU advanced.

The 12th-seeded Cougars (28-6) are considered a long shot to make it to the Final Four. They would have to win Saturday against defending national champion Connecticut (36-0) and again Monday against Texas A&M (26-8) or DePaul (29-6).

According to the NCAA's so-called "BYU rule," enacted in 1998, tournament schedules can be adjusted to accommodate religious beliefs.

BYU spokeswoman Norma Collett said her school would not play on a Sunday, even if it meant having to forfeit.

BYU was intentionally sent to a first- and second-round tournament site (Los Angeles) where games were played last Saturday and Monday. The Cougars did not practice last Sunday, but they did participate in a news conference.