Crunching The Numbers: How Nevada, Utah State Compare To Previous No. 7, No. 8 Seeds
Breaking down where Nevada and Utah State stand heading into the tournament
Nevada and Utah State are both top 8 seeds in this year’s bracket
Nevada and Utah State enter the NCAA Tournament this weekend as favorites in their respective games.
Nevada, a No. 7 seed for the second consecutive year, takes on No. 10 Florida Thursday evening. The Wolf Pack rank 25th in KenPom and battle the 28th-ranked Gators, the toughest of this year’s No. 10 seeds.
Below is a graph of where Nevada’s adjusted efficiency ranks compared to No. 7 seeds from the past five seasons of the NCAA Tournament.
As far as efficiency numbers go, Nevada is in the middle of the map in terms of how it compares to recent No. 7 seeds. Eric Musselman’s group enters the day with the 26th-best offense in the country at 1.14 points per possession and the 32nd-ranked defense at 0.95 points allowed per possession.
No. 8 seed Utah State will duke it out against No. 9 Washington on Friday. Craig Smith’s Aggies enter the tournament 33rd in KenPom while the Huskies are slotted at 53rd.
Like Nevada’s above, the graph below indicates where Utah State ranks compared to No. 8 seeds from the previous five NCAA Tournaments.
Minus the anomaly that was 2015 San Diego State, Utah State (much like Nevada) is also a relatively average No. 8 seed in terms of adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency ratings. The Mountain West Tournament champs are 31st nationally in offensive efficiency and 44th in defensive efficiency.
Eli Boettger is the lead basketball writer at Mountain West Wire. He’s covered Mountain West basketball since 2015 and his work has been featured on Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, SB Nation, Yahoo Sports, MSN, and other platforms. Boettger is a current USBWA member.