Thomas & MACk Center, Las Vegas
SAN DIEGO STATE
Record: 27-3, 16-2
This Conference has been a two-team race all season long and that’s not changing in this Tournament. With only three losses on the year, if SDSU doesn’t make it to the championship Game, it would be a major let down. The Aztecs are a likely 4-seed in the NCAA Tourney, but could jump to a 3 by winning this Tournament.
They shouldn’t have any problems in the first Game and should get by UNLV or Wyoming in the semis. It’s hard to see a scenario in which the Aztecs don’t play New Mexico in the finals, but there have been stranger things.
Record: 24-6, 15-3
The Lobos were set to claim the No. 1 seed in this Tourney, but a 26-4 run by SDSU in their Game on Saturday did them in. With a full and healthy squad, not many can give New Mexico trouble until the championship. Boise State may be difficult if they match up in the semis, but they still shouldn’t lose.
If we do get a SDSU-UNM championship the Lobos could end up being favorites despite just losing that last Game. Going on 25-4 runs don’t happen every day. If the Lobos win this Tourney, they could see a 5 or 6 seed for the Big Dance.
Record: 15-16, 10-8
It’s a question how this team came in third place in the MWC, especially after their brutal non-Conference record. Nevertheless, the Wolf Pack swept UNLV and won three of their last Four Games to get here. They’ll likely play Boise State in their first Game and will probably be underdogs.
Record: 19-12, 10-8
The Rebels’ chance at an NCAA Tourney bid were dashed in their last two Games as they lost at home to SDSU and at Nevada. They’ll need a miracle to win this Tournament. First up is Wyoming, who they beat by two points at home and then SDSU. It’s an uphill battle.
Record: 19-12, 9-9
The Broncos are another bubble team that had their hopes killed with two poor late-season losses against Nevada and Air Force. This is a team that has the players to make a run past San Jose State and Nevada, but then comes New Mexico.
Wyoming is a tough team that can cause UNLV some problems and maybe even give the Aztecs a scare. Fresno State, Utah State and Colorado State also have decent squads, but all of them lacked consistency throughout the year.
As said before, if it’s not San Diego State against New Mexico in the championship, it would be a surprise. However, due to a less consistent offense, the Aztecs may be riper for an upset.