Mountain West Basketball: January 25th Bracket Projections Round Up

Mountain West Basketball: January 25th Bracket Projections Round Up

Colorado State

Mountain West Basketball: January 25th Bracket Projections Round Up

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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. 

We are midway through the last week of January. And teams around the Mountain West Conference are surely making things interesting and maybe slightly difficult for the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. With Selection Sunday on March 13th inning closer and the First Four matchups of the NCAA Tournament on the 15th and 16th in Dayton. Teams need to hit their stride and finish out the season strong if they hope to be still playing basketball come March.

This past week was especially exciting around the Mountain West. As we watched the rise of Boise State atop the conference standings with quality Quad. one wins over Utah State and San Diego State. An impressive Wyoming defense of their home court en route to a 1st place show down in Boise on Tuesday night. As well as Colorado State winning their fifth straight after their road loss setback in San Diego a few weeks back.

Even though the Aztecs have fallen out of favor with AP Top-25 Poll voters, Boise State, Colorado State and Wyoming all received votes in the latest rankings.

At a glance, the Mountain West is enjoying a fruitful representation among the industry’s trusted rankings and evaluation tools. Since our last update on January 18th, there are still three teams ranked in KenPom’s top-50 and six teams total in the top-100. While the conference still appears 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

30-San Diego State

35-Colorado State

41-Boise State

55-Wyoming

57-Fresno State

70-Utah State

108-Nevada

121-UNLV

166-New Mexico

230-Air Force

294-San Jose State

Mountain West Conference NET Rankings

26-Colorado State

32-Wyoming

37-Boise State

43-San Diego State

62-Fresno State

71-Utah State

122-Nevada

132-UNLV

160-New Mexico

214-Air Force

282-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. 25th, 2021

Total Teams: 3

No. 7 Seed-Colorado State

No. 12 Seed-San Diego State (Last Four In)

No. 12 Seed-Wyoming

CBS Bracketologist Jerry Palm has still refused to show the Boise State Broncos any love in his latest installment of CBS Bracketology. But Leon Rice’s Broncos have helped solidify their place atop the conference with their impressive win streak, which also includes three wins over their several of their main challengers for a regular season title.

Projections around Boise State appear mixed to say the least, but currently 16-4 (7-0, 1st in MWC) so plenty of those automatic qualifier designations seem warranted this late in the season.

ESPNPublished Jan. 25th, 2021

Total Teams: 3

No. 7 Seed-Colorado State

No. 11 Seed-San Diego State

No. 11 Seed- Boise State (Automatic Qualifier)

First Four Out-Wyoming

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi appears to be following the trend of the industry regarding the Mountain West Conference at the moment. Three teams with punched tickets to the big dance and one fringe team. Currently that means 2nd place Wyoming just missing out as a First Four Out selection. Although he is one of the few to leave Wyoming out and include Boise State.

Heat Check CBBPublished Jan. 25th, 2021

Total Teams: 3

No. 7 Seed-Colorado State

No. 11 Seed-San Diego State

No. 11 Seed-Wyoming

The guys over at Heat Check CBB continue to put out great content and tools like their Tournament Index Ratings. Like some others included in this article the love for Boise State’s current position is non-existent. Although that might change given their win over the No. 11 seeded Wyoming this week.

Sports IllustratedPublished Jan. 25th, 2021

Total Teams: 4

No. 7 Seed-Colorado State

No. 10 Seed-San Diego State

No. 11 Seed-Boise State

No. 12 Seed-Wyoming (Last Four In)

Kevin Sweeney’s first inclusion in our bracketology updates is favorable to the conference. A grand total of four teams have been projected to make the NCAA Tournament by the Sports Illustrated staff writer.

Still, as maybe the only outlet to give way to the four-bid Mountain West we are all hoping for. We appreciate Mr. Sweeney’s confidence in the conference and it’s quest for five bids.

Bracket Matrix Composite

Total Teams: 3

No. 8 Seed-Colorado State (Avg. 7.72)

No. 9 Seed-San Diego State (Avg. 9.56)

No. 12 Seed-Wyoming (Avg. 11.0)

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 a three-bid Mountain West, minus the current league leader Boise State.

Including Wyoming makes sense given their position in many of the metrics and rankings used by the selection committee at this time. But given the Broncos’ 13 game winning streak and run through the top-half of the conference run the last two weeks, I can’t see March Madness with Wyoming and without Boise State.

A 4-Bid Mountain West 

So three teams, that is still the ceiling to meet and hopefully beat this season. But with a conference that appears to be in the middle of a resurgence on the national stage, we could see four Mountain West teams go dancing.

Colorado State and San Diego State appear to be holding their place in many projections. While the top two teams in the standings, Boise State and Wyoming look like Selection Sunday last minute additions. Mainly depending on how each squad finishes out the season.

Here’s to FOUR 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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