Who Is The Best Mountain West Basketball Team?
In the KenPom era, who is the best Mountain West team.
The best 16 teams are…
There is nothing that can truly fill the void of missing out on the most magical time of the year for college basketball. We all know that. There’s nothing that can be done about it now.
For people like me, the excess time lets my mind wander and imagine things. Those thought experiments can be pretty entertaining for those that are into that sort of thing. This is the result of one of those thought experiments.
Over the course of the season a common question among San Diego State fans was “who would win, this 2020 Aztecs team or the 2011 Aztecs team?” It got me curious, and I thought I would expand that question to the whole mountain west conference. Which team would come out of a playoff series on top?
To determine this I went to Ken Pom and found the 16 best teams since 2002 (as far back as KenPom goes). It would’ve been easy to say “This team has the best efficiency, so they’re the best team.” It would be more fun, however, to make a game out of it.
The game is a 16 team playoff, using rules similar to the NBA playoffs. Each series is a best of 7, with home courts alternating in a 2-2-1-1-1 pattern. The last team standing is the best team in Mountain West history.
Seeds were determined by the adjusted efficiency metric used by KenPom. The most efficient team got the 1 seed, the second most efficient team got the 2 seed, and so on. In order to determine which team is the champion, each team will be put in the bracket, with the No. 1 seed facing the 16 seed, the 2 seed facing the 15 seed, and so on.
The games will be played using the What If Sports simulator to determine the best team ever.
Here are the 16 teams who will compete:
- 2011 San Diego State 24.98
- 2020 San Diego State 24.48
- 2010 BYU 23.27
- 2011 BYU 23.22
- 2014 San Diego State 20.38
- 2005 Utah 20.33
- 2007 Air Force 20.20
- 2009 BYU 20.10
- 2012 New Mexico 19.45
- 2013 Colorado State 19.12
- 2013 New Mexico 19.02
- 2018 Nevada 18.39
- 2019 Nevada 18.18
- 2009 Utah 17.80
- 2011 UNLV 17.75
- 2003 BYU 17.68
Round 1 matchups:
- No. 1 2011 San Diego State vs. No. 16 2003 BYU
- 2020 San Diego State vs. 2011 UNLV
- 2010 BYU vs. 2009 Utah
- 2011 BYU vs. 2019 Nevada
- 2014 San Diego State vs. 2018 Nevada
- 2005 Utah vs. 2013 New Mexico
- 2007 Air Force vs. 2013 Colorado State
- 2009 BYU vs. 2012 New Mexico