Mountain West Tournament Seeding Update
One week closer!
Updated seeding heading into the final week of the regular season.
The 2nd to last week of the regular season is all wrapped up! Here’s a seeding update & a brief recap on what occurred last week.
The matchup of the year lived up to the billing! Boise State’s two games resulted in a clean sweep over Utah State, for the Broncos in-front of fans for the first time this season. Two down to the wire games.
The highly anticipated Nevada/CSU series was canceled due to COVID.
SEEDING IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY:
(1) Boise State Broncos (18-4, 14-3)
The Broncos have rebounded in a big way following their disappointing series in Reno. The series against Utah State was tightly contested the entire way. Boise won the two games by a combined 13 points, but that doesn’t even do it justice on how close the series truly was.
Despite Neemias Queta destroying Boise’s post defense, the Broncos star, Derrick Alston Jr, was able to ensure the spot in the rankings.
With that victory, you can just about pencil Leon Rice’s squad in for their first at large bid since the 2014-15 season, when the Broncos eeked their way into the first four led by Chandler Hutchinson. Boise’s NEVER had an at-large bid that wasn’t as a last four-in team. The seed range will be somewhere around 8-10 more than likely.
Another massive series awaits this week in San Diego facing Brian Dutcher’s Aztecs. Two Quadrant One chances.
The Broncos haven’t technically won the conference, with the winner being decided by conference winning percentage, and right now Boise leads SDSU (.818) to SDSU’s (.810)
(2) San Diego State Aztecs (17-4, 11-3)
After losing to Utah State in both games Mid-January, the Aztecs have won eight consecutive games by 13+ points every single game. That’s absurd, not against the toughest of competition by any means, but still, a wins a win.
The computer rankings adore SDSU. The Aztecs rank 19th in KenPom (1st in the conference) along with 24th in the NET (1st in the conference.)
That could change with the results of this week’s games against Boise, but when you have guys like Jordan Schakel shooting threes, Matt Mitchell as your leader, Nathan Mensah as your defensive anchor with an elite head coach, those rankings are more than warranted.
(3) Colorado State (14-4, 13-3)
The Rams have been out of commission for the past two weeks due to no fault of their own. The way things work these days with the pandemic, you can be doing everything correctly, but still have games canceled with other teams having COVID issues. The two near-guaranteed wins CSU would’ve gotten against New Mexico then an interesting series against Nevada could’ve put the Rams in first place in the conference had they won all four.
The final regular-season series is against Air Force. That will be a likely two more wins for the Rams with how poor the Falcons have been this season.
With the defense & offense combo for Niko Medved’s crew with their two stars, Isaiah Stevens & David Roddy makes the potential for the Rams sky high.
(4) Utah State Aggies (14-7, 11-4)
The Aggies quickly find themselves in a similar situation they did at this point last season. Actually, almost the exact same, leading into the final week of the year, many had the Aggies as one of the true bubble teams barely sneaking in prior to going to the Pit to face New Mexico, when they also had seven losses.
In that week, they defeated SJSU, but dropped the final game to New Mexico, making the Selection Sunday that never ended up happening a sweaty one. Instead, Sam Merrill hits a three that goes in Mountain West lore forever, defeating a historically great San Diego State team to snag the auto-bid.
USU needs to knock down a pesky Nevada team twice this week to feel comfortable heading into the conference tournament. With a loss, that makes things difficult.
Despite losing to Boise twice, if Neemias Queta plays the way he did in that series, not many teams will have success taking down the Aggies in the conf tourney.
(5) Nevada Wolf Pack (14-7, 9-5)
Man, had the Pack not became invisible in the first half of the first game in the Wyoming series, or could stop Hunter Maldonado in game two and not lose to Air Force, they’d be firmly on the bubble. Unfortunately, those things did happen, making the Pack have a slim chance unless they win the auto-bid.
The conference POTY does reside in Reno with Grant Sherfield.
If the Pack can play spoiler in Logan this week that would be massive for gaining momentum.
(6) UNLV Runnin Rebels (10-11, 7-6)
The drop in depths of teams takes a drop here like we see every week. The Rebels nearly dropped a game to San Jose State this week. Thankfully for them, that was avoided.
This week, UNLV gets Fresno State. That shouldn’t be a super enticing series.
(7) Fresno State Bulldogs (9-7, 7-7)
It’s been a rather tough season for Justin Hutson’s team. The production outside of Orlando Robinson isn’t there.
You get some production from Deon Stroud & Isaiah Hill, but guys like Devin Gage, Anthony Holland & Jordan Campbell haven’t played out as planned.
Fresno looked to possibly pull off an upset this week against SDSU after starting the game with an 11-0 lead but eventually lost that lead, resulting in a 14 point loss.
Bulldogs head to Vegas this week.
(8) Wyoming Cowboys (12-8, 6-8)
Jeff Linder’s proven in Year One that he’s building something special in Laramie, headed by freshman guard Marcus Williams, who leads the team in scoring. With fellow freshman Xavier DuSell knocking down threes, with the do-it-all mentality of Hunter Maldonado, things look promising.
Following two wins over New Mexico this past week. Wyoming then faces SJSU to round out the remainder of the regular season.
(9) San Jose State Spartans (5-15, 3-13)
It’s been far from a dream season for the Spartans. In a season marred with injuries like with Richard Washington missing a month of play, that doesn’t help things.
The team hasn’t stopped fighting, though. They played tough against UNLV last week. They get Wyoming this week. Let’s see what transpires.
(10) Air Force Academy Falcons (4-16, 2-14)
It’s been a struggle for Joe Scott’s Falcons this season, now being on a nine-game losing streak after knocking off Wyoming a month ago.
AFA is one of the few teams in the conference with multiple series set to unfold. Both this week against Colorado State and New Mexico to round out their season.
(11) New Mexico Lobos (5-13, 1-13)
The worst season in program history continues after it looked to potentially be heading for an abrupt end following reports of many players unsure if they want to finish out the season.
They decided to, and it’s been more of the same struggles.
The Lobos get Air Force this week.
MATCHUP TO WATCH THIS WEEK:
Boise State @ San Diego State
With a sweep, SDSU will take hold of first place in the conference. With a split, Boise holds the lead.
MATCHUPS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY:
BYES: (1) Boise State, (2) San Diego State (3) Colorado State
(4) Utah State Aggies Vs. (5) Nevada Wolf Pack
(8) Wyoming Cowboys Vs. (9) San Jose State Spartans
(7) Fresno State Bulldogs Vs. (10) Air Force Falcons
(6) UNLV Runnin Rebels Vs. (11) New Mexico Lobos