Mountain West Tourney Seeding update, A Look Ahead
Also what happened this past week.
Let’s look at rankings currently.
Another week of college hoops is in the books. It was a busy week in the Mountain West; let’s start by discussing what transpired this week.
Utah State suffered a stunning loss in Vegas to UNLV. Currently, a quadrant three loss, but could jump into Quadrant two territory at some point. USU cannot suffer any more losses to teams not named Boise State in their remaining eight games.
Boise State traveled to Fort Collins, CO, to face the Rams; game one resulted in an absolute slaughtering of Boise State. Game two got the Broncos a road Q1 victory. If we’re honest, that series perfect for the Mountain West maximizing their bids in the tournament.
San Jose State is now on a three-game winning streak since Richard Washington got injured. A crazy storyline there, but SJSU did defeat AFA twice, not exactly the toughest of competition. For SJSU to be on a three-game win streak, this season is fantastic.
San Diego State blew out Wyoming in both games. Pure domination from start-to-finish, impressive road victories for the Aztecs, boosting their NET rankings.
The bad is becoming worse for New Mexico. The Lobos only have one conference victory and are one of the worst offensive teams in College Basketball. Fresno State defeated UNM both times.
Nevada only played one game this week, defeating their rival, UNLV.
Boise State Broncos (14-2, 10-1)
Leon Rice’s squad faced their toughest conference road test against Colorado State this past week. Another road conference series in Reno against Nevada follows this week on Friday & Sunday. Based on the current NET rankings, it would be in Boise’s best interest to win those games, but it wouldn’t be detrimental if they dropped one. However, if Boise State were to lose both, and if USU won both games of their series, that would put USU first.
Utah State Aggies (13-5, 10-2)
Craig Smith‘s Aggies suffered a rough road loss to UNLV last week. Now, USU heads to California to face Fresno State for two games. If the Aggies were to lose either of these games to Fresno State, it would put them in a horrible spot. That would add another Quadrant three loss to Utah State’s resume, which Craig Smith’s squad already has two of.
Colorado State Rams (13-4, 9-3)
The Rams pulled off a big win over Boise State this week, adding to the resume. CSU’s resume is pretty immaculate right now, all things considered, zero losses outside the first quadrant, with three quadrant one wins to pair with that. Barring any bad losses, Niko Medved’s team will in a fantastic spot. The schedule the rest of the way is easy; this week, the Rams have two road games against Wyoming that are must-wins.
San Diego State Aztecs (13-4, 7-3)
Brian Dutcher’s Aztecs have the best non-conference wins in the Mountain West. The wins against UCLA, Arizona State, and Saint Mary’s are carrying SDSU right now.
This week, SDSU plays New Mexico. The Aztecs cannot lose either of those games; a Q4 loss on the resume would look disastrous for their resume. In-fact, demolishing UNM in these two games like they should be nice for the NET Rankings, as point differential matters.
Nevada Wolf Pack (11-7, 6-5)
Steve Alford‘s Wolf Pack is sitting in the middle of the MW pack. On Sunday, Nevada defeated UNLV handily. Game two of that series will be on Tuesday. The most significant series of Nevada’s series follows, against Boise State. That’ll be an interesting series to monitor. The Pack, I believe, can beat anybody with their elite guard play; anything can happen. The tough thing for the Mountain West, Nevada doesn’t have any chance to get an at-large bid, but Boise State has to continue winning games.
Fresno State Bulldogs (7-6, 5-6)
Justin Hutson’s Bulldogs can play spoiler this week against Utah State. Fresno is currently sixth in the conference, but an interesting stat to watch is Fresno’s 7-1 in home games this season. The worst-case scenario for the conference maximizing their bids in the tournament is Utah State losing another game outside the first two quadrants.
UNLV Runnin Rebels (6-8, 3-4)
The Rebs have another game in Reno this week, followed by a game against Air Force. Something worth noting is that Bryce Hamilton missed the first game against Nevada with an injury. The Rebels are a team that can play spoiler the rest of the season when healthy. They are an extremely talented team.
Wyoming Cowboys (10-7, 4-6)
After getting blown out by San Diego State this weekend, Wyoming can play spoiler once again facing Colorado State. If the Cowboys are able to win a game against Colorado State, that would give CSU a quadrant three loss. Wyoming can win a game here with its fantastic offensive ability.
San Jose State Spartans (5-11, 3-9)
Jean Prioleau‘s squad is finally turning the ship around. Without Richard Washington, It’s interesting to see the Spartans win all three games without him. If the contributing parts like Ralph Agee, Trey Smith & Sebastian Mendoza continue producing when Washington returns, that could make SJSU a team that steals a few games.
Air Force Academy Falcons (4-12, 2-10)
It’s been a rough season for Joe Scott‘s Falcons. They are struggling on both ends of the floor right now, despite stealing wins over Nevada & Wyoming earlier this season. The Princeton offense isn’t exactly clicking the way you would hope with a large number of turnovers, not making the offense flow. This week, AFA only plays one game against UNLV.
New Mexico Lobos (5-11, 1-11)
This is one of the worst years in New Mexico Hoops history. It’s unfortunate that a staple in the conference is struggling to this degree, but between losing players to the portal, and things not clicking at all, It’ll continue being a rocky season. The Lobos have a tough task against San Diego State this week.
Mountain West Conference Seeding if the tournament started today:
BYE: (1) Boise State (2) Utah State Aggies (3) Colorado State Rams
(8) Wyoming Cowboys vs. (9) San Jose State Spartans
(7) UNLV Runnin Rebels Vs. (10) Air Force Falcons
(6) Fresno State Bulldogs Vs. (11) New Mexico Lobos
(4) San Diego State Aztecs Vs. (5) Nevada Wolf Pack
Series with major seeding implications this week:
Boise State is going to Reno against Nevada. If the Broncos were to lose one game, they would be tied with USU, and if they lost both and USU wins their series, that would put the Aggies in sole possessions of first place in the conference.
Assuming SDSU beats New Mexico both games, that could make things interesting with the CSU/WYO series. If the Rams lose both games in the series, that’ll tie up San Diego State and Colorado State.