The Cougars began the season early, with a trip to South America and Mexico where they played 22 games, winning 19 of them. Their first regular season game came in December, when they beat Illinois 109-98.
Several tough losses on the road left the Cougars in second place in the conference, although they managed to beat Utah twice, barely squeaking by in Salt Lake City with a 94-93 victory.
Officials of the National Invitational Tournament were impressed enough with the Cougars team to give BYU the top seed in their 1966 tournament. BYU beat Temple, Army, and New York University to win the NIT championship for the second time in BYU history. Their run-and-shoot style of play, along with some help from the Cougar cheerleaders and band, also won the support of many fans in Madison Square Garden, who were solidly behind the Cougars by the final game.