NCAA Tournament Projections: How Many Mountain West Teams?
Selection Sunday is March 14
Two, three, or even four?
The Mountain West basketball season is nearing its end to a very odd basketball season and Selection Sunday is just under a month away and the battle for the Mountain West title and its at-large bids are up in the air.
Currently, San Diego State is 25th in the AP poll, and in the coaches poll, the Aztecs along with Colorado State, Utah State, and Boise State earning votes. Now, these polls do not reflect or even predict that a ranking or being close gets a team into the Big Dance.
The 2003-04 Utah State team is the only ranked team to ever miss out on the NCAA Tournament. That Aggies team was in the Big West and had a very different strength of schedule due to the quality of the league, but it should be a thought in the back of these teams minds about just because they are ranked are getting votes that they are going to land an NCAA Tournament bid.
What is really important is the NET ratings as it is a major tool to determine seeding and an at-large bid. Currently, four Mountain West teams are in good shape to be considered for an at-large bid.
- No. 24 San Diego State
- No. 38 Boise State
- No. 44 Colorado State
- No. 51 Utah State
Clearly, being a top-40 is better than a top-50 ranking for an at-large bid. There are chances before the season ends to get better wins as Boise State plays both San Diego State and Utah State. The Aggies also face a Nevada team that is on the cusp of being a top-100 NET win and could help their cause as well.
Based on the NET ratings it seems the Mountain West will have two teams in the field of 68. However, Bracket Matrix’s composite of 101 brackets has four Mountain West teams.
- San Diego State, 9.09 average seed, high seed: No. 3, low: No. 12
- Boise State, 10.77 average seed, high seed: No. 8, low: No. 12
- Colorado State: 11.16 average seed, high seed: No. 8, low: No. 12
- Utah State: 11.52 average seed, high seed: N0. 9, low: No. 12
These seedings point to that some Mountain West teams are squarely on the bubble or playing in the play-in games and that might be the way for the conference to get four teams and it doesn’t even matter because getting that number of teams is great for the league. The Mountain West had three teams in 2015 and it would be the most since five teams earned an invite in 2013.