2020 Mountain West Basketball Tournament: Championship Game Schedule, Bracket, Live Stream & Odds
The Championship game is set and it’s No.1 vs. No. 2, as expected?
The top two seeds in the tournament meet for chance to go dancing and the Mountain West tournament championship.
San Diego State had a slow start in Friday’s semifinal game against No. 5 Boise State, reminiscent of their quarterfinal victory over No. 9 Air Force where they found themselves down at the half only to rally to a 13-point win in the second half. Their victory over the Broncos didn’t exactly fit that same mold, but the Aztecs did find themselves tied forty a piece at the half. But it could have been worse if not for a 19-3 run in the final minutes of the first half.
Ultimately Brian Dutcher’s squad secured the 81-68 win over Boise State in the second half, and as a team ended the night shooting 27-55 on field goals (49.1%) and 15-36 from three
In the Championship game they will face No. 2 Utah State who ended the Cinderella hopes of No. 11 Wyoming in an 89-82 late Friday night. Wyoming certainly made it interesting, staying in the game the whole time and getting double-digit efforts from five different players, led by 18 points from freshman guard Kenny Foster. This was a different kind of Cowboys team that showed up in Las Vegas this week compared to what fans saw all season. There should be some hope around that program going into next season, as they do lose two key players in Jake Hendricks and AJ Banks to graduation but bring back literally everyone else.
Utah State was led by none other than senior leader Sam Merrill who finished the night with 27 points, 7 assists and 2 steals bringing his tournament scoring average to 28.0 PPG. He received some needed help from sophomore big man Neemias Queta who chipped in 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks while using his size and athleticism against a much smaller and more shallow Wyoming frontcourt.
This match up of the top two seeds is just what the bracketology doctor ordered for the Aggies, as a team that is on bubble watch for many folks might need a win over the Aztecs to punch their ticket. San Diego State is in a better spot when it comes to attending the big dance but should have a sweep of both the regular season and tournament titles in mind as the cherry on top of an already stellar season.
History hasn’t been too kind to mid-major bubble teams and Sam Merrill who should be in the running for tournament MVP needs to take control Saturday, as his Aztec counterpart Malachi Flynn will attempt to do the same.
What will likely be the difference maker will be the performances of each team’s supporting casts. A Diogo Brito vs. Jordan Schakel match up should be an interesting one to watch, as well as a Neemias Queta vs. Yanni Wetzell match up down low. There is a lot on the line for both teams and should provide an exciting game of basketball for the rest of us.
Saturday, March 7th
Championship: No. 1 San Diego State vs. No. 2 Utah State, 5:30 p.m. ET, TV: CBS OR (FuboTV Free Trial ), KenPom: