Mountain West Basketball Ranking Teams By Tiers
Who are the kings of the league!
Who is great and who isn’t?
College basketball is fast approaching so it’s time to take another look at who wears the crown, who is strong, and who is weak in the Mountain West.
A sovereign or monarch; the chief authority over a country and people
Boise State Broncos
As the reigning Mountain West champions, the Broncos are proudly wearing the coveted crown, but keeping it will be an arduous task. Boise State’s success last year was two-sided. The Broncos won a loaded conference, but they were also one of the less-dominant champions in recent history.
Last season, the Mountain West earned four bids to the NCAA, the most since the 2012-13 season when the conference earned five. The conference also had two teams just outside the tournament, sending one team to the NIT and another to the Basketball Classic. Sitting atop this conference was Boise State, with both a regular season and tournament title.
Leading such a strong conference isn’t easy, however. Going 15-3 in conference play, the Broncos achieved a .833 conference win percentage, the lowest since Nevada won the 2018-19 regular season with the same record. Only two teams in the modern Mountain West have ever won the conference with a worse conference win percentage, the 2014-15 San Diego State team and the 2016-17 Nevada team, both at .788. The Broncos also had one of the worst overall records .771 win percentage, with only the 2014-15 and 2015-16 San Diego State teams going .750 and .737 respectively.
Three conference losses on the way to a regular-season and tournament championship is anything but disappointing, but the Broncos didn’t establish themselves as the untouchable juggernaut that some Mountain West teams have in the past, and they aren’t coming into this season quite as menacing as some previous reigning champs.
As kings of the conference, the expectations for the Broncos are high. The past four Mountain West Championship games featured the reigning champion. If Boise State fails to play in the upcoming championship game, they will be the first team to do so since Nevada won in 2017 and then lost in the semifinals in 2018.
Boise State won the regular season and the tournament without any All-Mountain West First Team players and with only two players named to the First, Second, and Third teams, Marcus Shaver Jr. and Abu Kigab, both named to the Second Team. This suggests that coaching and culture might have played an outsized role in Boise State’s success, something that the Broncos hope could roll over into this season.
It will be a difficult task for the Broncos to prove the best days aren’t behind them, but the future certainly isn’t grim for Boise State. Tyson Degenhart, last year’s Freshman of the Year will return to the Broncos. Also returning is Shaver Jr. who will be joined by some highly-anticipated transfers.
After their Top 25 finish last season, the Broncos are unranked to begin this season. Boise State received one vote in the Preseason USA TODAY Coaches Poll.