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WAC Conference Tournament Preview
The Western Athletic Conference Tournament will allow one of nine teams to gain automatic entry to the NCAA Tournament. Hawaii has the most championships among active WAC members at 3. Last year’s tournament was won by Utah State for the first time. The Aggies look poised for another victory this year as the top seed. Nevada, and New Mexico State look like the most likely upset candidates. The WAC Tournament should give us an idea of how the winner will fare in the Big Dance. Let’s take a look at several of the top teams along with the current odds to win the tourney as listed at offshore sportsbooks.
Utah State Aggies - This team is on an incredible roll after having a rocky start to their season. They finished the year with a record of 25-6 overall and 14-2 in conference play. They ended the season on a massive 15 game winning streak. The Aggies were given some competition by Nevada who they beat in OT. However, they crushed New Mexico State and most everyone else in the conference. They proved they can play with some of the best teams in the NCAA when they downed BYU 71-61 early in the season. The scoring for this team is very balanced. Junior F Tai Wesley leads the team at 13.7 PPG. He also gets 6.4 RPG. He had 24 points in the Aggies regular season finale win over New Mexico State. Senior G Jared Quayle is a sharp shooter that strikes from 43.5% from three point range. He made at least 4 three pointers on 5 separate occasions. Nate Bendal, Pooh Williams, and Tyler Newbold are all important players for the Aggies. This team should run through the WAC Tournament, but anything can happen in March.
Nevada Wolf Pack -The only strong non conference win for this team came against the Portland Pilots. They played BYU close, but couldn’t get a win. With an overall record of 19-11, they will have to win this tournament in order to gain entrance to the Big Dance. They played Utah State close both times, and beat New Mexico State twice. Anything is possible for the Wolf Pack. Sophomore F Luke Babbitt leads the charge with 21.7 PPG and 9.3 RPG. He strikes at 43% from three point range. He had 29 points in a narrow 73-70 victory over East Washington. Junior G Armon Johnson puts up 16 PPG and dishes out 5.6 APG. He had 30 points against BYU. Senior G Brandon Fields adds 14.6 PPG. He has come on strong towards the end of the year. He had 32 points in a win over New Mexico State. The sky is the limit for this team, but they will have to get past Utah State to win the WAC Tournament.
New Mexico State Aggies - This team finished the year 19-11 overall and 11-5 in conference play. They ended the season on a two game losing streak. They should win their opening game against San Jose State, but after that nothing is guaranteed. The Aggies have played well at times as they showed when they beat UTEP, but have looked equally as bad at times. This is clear when they got crushed by a UCLA team that is awful this year. Junior G Jamar Young will have to step his game up. He averages 20.9 PPG. Jonathan Gibson adds 17.8 PPG. It would take a monumental effort this squad to take the WAC Tournament, but anything is possible in March.
March Madness will happen all over this country during the week. Teams that are supposed to win and seemingly can’t lose will do exactly that. Desperate underdogs can’t be underestimated. That is why we will go with the Nevada Wolf Pack. Although they finished second in league play, they will be a big dog to beat Utah State. The value will be strong and this team can get the job done. Check back to Bettorsworld.com for the latest NCAA basketball information and betting tips!
Current Odds to win the WAC Tournament
Utah St 1/1
New Mexico St 5/1
La Tech 8/1
Fresno St 12/1