The NCAA season has reached it first round of the postseason. With the regular season now in the books, we are in the heart of the conference tournaments. Come Wednesday, March 8th, a good majority of the conferences will have started their respective tournaments. Several tickets have already have been punched, with more to come each and every day in the coming week.
One of the tournaments that will be tipping off for the first time on Wednesday will be the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Here at INSC we have you covered, with predictions down below. This tourney will conclude on Saturday, March 11th.
You can check out the seedings and a link to the bracket below.
(2) Colorado State
(3) Boise State
(4) Fresno State
(5) New Mexico
(6) San Diego State
(8) Utah State
(9) San Jose State
(10) Air Force
There will be three games to open up the first round of this tournament before we can get to the quarterfinals. To start things off, the eight and nine seeds, Utah State and San Jose State, will go at it for the chance at facing Nevada. Things will then proceed to Wyoming-Air Force, with the winner going to face Colorado State. Finally, we have San Diego State and UNLV, with the winner getting Boise State. I will predict SJ State 72-68, Wyoming 78-77 and SD State 73-69.
So our first quarterfinals matchup will set San Jose State against the top-seeded Nevada. Nevada is the type of team that may have the slightest of hopes at getting in even if they do not win this thing, but that is likely a pipedream. Luckily for them, they will move on to the semis with relative ease. Give me Nevada 76-71.
Up next we have the only quarterfinal game that is already set. That game will see Fresno State and New Mexico face one another. They will have a date against Nevada on the line this go around. This will be a close battle that could honestly go either way. These teams are pretty even, with each one having their own handful of edges. But when all of the numbers are crunched, I give the slight edge to Fresno State, 74-73.
Game three will feature Wyoming and Colorado State battle it out. I do not love either of these teams a ton. Since I see their numbers are equal in many categories, the difference will come at the free throw line. Both teams shoot it well from there, but Colorado State does not foul nearly as much. Give me Colorado State in a close one, 77-75.
To wrap up the quarterfinals we will see Boise State take on San Diego State. This one I do not see being nearly as competitive as some of the prior games. San Diego State is far from the team that we saw in years past. So give me Boise State by the score of 73-68.
That finishes off the quarterfinals, meaning we can move onto the semis. First off, Nevada gets Fresno State. We all know Nevada will enter as the favorites. And for good reason. I do not see Fresno State being much of a challenge for the one seed. Give me Nevada by the score of 78-71. They move to the finals to take on the winner of the next game.
Colorado State will take on Boise State to close out the semis. Now this one should be fun. These two teams are fairly evenly matched. Their numbers point to this one being a game that goes blow for blow. But when the buzzer sounds, I am actually calling for the upset. I am going with Boise State by the slimmest of margins, 73-72.
That will set up the championship game with Nevada and Boise State being the two that fight it out for the automatic bid. This is going to be a one-bid league, so if Nevada loses here, they are NIT bound. So can they dispose of the three seed? The answer, yes. Nevada is the class of the Mountain West. They win this one 77-73, punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
So what do you think? Who will emerge with a NCAA Tournament bid? Will it be an upset, or will the top seed claim their auto bid? Tell us in the comments!