Mountain West Basketball: Bracket Projections Round Up

Mountain West Basketball: Bracket Projections Round Up

Colorado State

Mountain West Basketball: Bracket Projections Round Up


Mountain West Basketball: Bracket Projections

Experts predict a higher than average number of MWC teams selected in March.

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An update on the conference’s NCAA Tournament bracket projections. 

The ever so important yet rather quick month of February rapidly approaches this college basketball season. It may feel like a bit of a blur, especially between pauses and postponements still ongoing nationwide. But before you know it, the shortest month of the year is here and gone just as fast. Making way for Selection Sunday on March 13th and the First Four matchups of the NCAA Tournament on the 15th and 16th in Dayton.

So far this season the programs around the Mountain West have a lot to be proud of. With Niko Medved’s Colorado State program logging and hanging around the AP Top-25 for multiple weeks. And the Rams and San Diego State Aztecs both are receiving votes in the rankings latest edition, published Monday the 17th.

At a glance, the Mountain West is enjoying a fruitful representation among the industry’s trusted rakings and evaluation tools. With three teams ranked in KenPom’s top-50 and six teams total in the top-100. While the conference appears even more favorable in the NCAA’s latest NET rankings with a total of four programs in the top-50 and six in the top-100. All of this has led to some very exciting representation among the industry’s most trusted bracketologists’ projections this past week.

Mountain West Conference KenPom Rankings

33-San Diego State

39-Colorado State

42-Boise State

61-Fresno State


64-Utah State



207-New Mexico

266-Air Force

299-San Jose State

Mountain West Conference NET Rankings


31-Colorado State

44-San Diego State

47-Boise State

54-Fresno State

64-Utah State



185-New Mexico

240-Air Force

280-San Jose State

The big dance bid glory days for the Mountain West will always be the 2012-2013 season. That year the conference had five teams go dancing, since then the highest total teams sent was three, two seasons later.

CBS SportsPublished Jan. 17th, 2021

Total Teams: 3

No. 8 Seed-Colorado State

No. 10 Seed-San Diego State

No. 11 Seed-Wyoming

CBS Bracketologist Jerry Palm is the first to bear the Mountain West some positivity with a grand total of three teams projected to make the NCAA Tourney. The Aztecs and Rams have been expected to be in the conversation all year, both vying for the Mountain West crown thus far.

But Jeff Linder’s Wyoming Cowboys look a bit like party crashers this early. Currently 13-2 (2-0 in MWC) with a 2-1 record against quad. 1 opponents has the second year head coach’s program on brackets across the country.

ESPNPublished Jan. 18th, 2021

Total Teams: 3

No. 8 Seed-Colorado State

No. 8 Seed-San Diego State

No. 12 Seed- Boise State (Automatic Qualifier)

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi appears to be shaking things up a bit regarding his Mountain West projections. Like many included in this update he has Niko Medved’s Rams and Brian Dutcher’s Aztecs as No. 8 seeds. Spot on with the current trend for both programs at the moment.

But excluding the recently mentioned Cowboys all together and instead including the Boise State Broncos, as the conferences tournament champion and automatic qualifier no less. Leon Rice’s squad would slot in as a surprise 12 seed Midwest region in Portland. The Broncos are 13-4 (4-0 in MWC) and in 1st place in the conference at the time of this article, so not really too big of a surprise pick by any means.

Heat Check CBBPublished Jan. 18th, 2021

Total Teams: 2

No. 9 Seed-San Diego State

No. 9 Seed-Colorado State

The guys over at Heat Check CBB continue to put out great content and tools like their Tournament Index Ratings. Though unlike some of the more commercial bracketologists out there, Lukas Harkins‘ predicts only two Mountain West programs making the field. With both the Aztecs and Rams securing their place and both as 9 seeds. Though he does have Boise State as a Last Four Out or “Replacement Team” given the possibility of teams not being able to participate given covid-19 positive test results.

This differs from other projected brackets and maybe not what fans of the league want to hear. But they are right on par with the next publication featured below, which included dozens of projections from every corner of the college basketball map.

Bracket Matrix Composite

Total Teams: 2

No. 8 Seed-Colorado State (Avg. 8.38)

No. 9 Seed-San Diego State (Avg. 9.13)

Bracket Matrix does a great job of giving out a composite seed from nearly eighty different voices and bracketologists around the country. Their current math pegs Colorado State and San Diego State to go dancing. With Wyoming, Boise State and Fresno State narrowly missing out.

A 3-Bid Mountain West 

So three teams, that is still the ceiling to meet and maybe one day beat. Though with the current average projection of three teams heading to whatever version of the NCAA Tournament we are afforded in March. We can see the conference is trending upward. Creating preseason hype like that of Colorado State, showing up with a winning consistency like San Diego State and making an unexpected impact in the sports landscape like Wyoming.

Here’s to three tickets punched, finger crossed.

Larry Muniz covers college basketball as a writer for Mountain West Wire and WAC Hoops Digest. Also as a co-host of the college basketball podcast “Hoops Talk W/Jay & Larry”. He is also a USWBA Member.


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