The Wyoming Cowboys basketball team made the NCAA Tournament this past season for the first time since 2002, but it didn’t come as any sort of fluke. The Dome of Doom is easily one of the toughest places to play in all of college basketball, and some of the top-tier programs in the country realize that.
According to College Basketball Talk, it was reported earlier this week that power conference schools are avoiding road games at Wyoming. The school’s arena is located 7,220 feet above sea level and with over 15,000 fans attending games each home contest, it’s no surprise that schools don’t want to play there if they can help it.
Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt is 60-15 at home the last four seasons and he revealed earlier this week that he has done everything he can to try and schedule big name schools for home games. The Cowboys host Cal this season, but that game didn’t come without scheduling two road games in the process.
Wyoming hasn’t had a true home-and-home series since they played Washington State over a decade ago. Also, only four power conference schools have played in Laramie since 1997 and none since the 2004-05 season. Shyatt, who has been a member of coaching staffs at Florida and Clemson, realizes the tough nature of the Cowboys’ arena.
“They’re not playing us, and quite honestly, if I was the head coach at Colorado or Florida, I don’t know if I would come to Laramie unless they’d play in October, September, August, July or June,” Shyatt said to the AP. “If I’m thinking selfishly of my university, what am I getting? What are we getting? What’s our league getting? Tough call.”
The Cowboys have scheduled in-season tournaments in order to make their schedule as strong as possible in the eyes of the Tournament selection committee over the next few seasons. If the power conference teams won’t play in Wyoming, the Cowboys will have to win big games on the road in order to continue to receive at-large bids.
The Cowboys open the 2015-16 home stretch on November 25 when they host CSU Bakersfield.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports