Mountain West Tournament Semifinals Preview

Boise State Head Coach Leon Rice looks over the court as his team prepares for the Mountain West Tournament.
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Boise State went and ruined everything. Things were going as planned in the Mountain West Tournament until the Broncos lost to a decent Nevada squad. Boise State hasn’t won a game in March this year, and they’re not going to have another chance.

Mountain West Tournament Semifinals Set

Nevada’s upset—if you could call it that—of Boise State was the only win by a lower seed so far in the Mountain West tournament. The Broncos were on the bubble before their quarterfinal matchup against the Wolf Pack, but now it has burst. Their loss didn’t just hurt their chances but also the Mountain West’s bid to get four invitations to the NCAA Tournament. Now, only three have an opportunity to go to the Big Dance. Well, technically four, so I would be wrong to discount Nevada again—but I will.

Tournament Semifinals- Friday, March 12

No. 1 San Diego State Aztecs vs. No. 5 Nevada Wolf Pack- 9:30 p.m. ET

San Diego State received a scare from Wyoming, squeaking out a 69-66 win. This shouldn’t cause an overreaction. Baylor also received a scare from Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament, and the Wildcats are worse than the Cowboys. Sometimes close victories like this are just what a good team needs to start a streak of dominance.

Nevada, on the other hand, isn’t a bad team. Their game against Boise State was a battle of sleepers to win the Mountain West tournament. Although the Wolf Pack lost both regular-season contests to the Aztecs this year, the difference in both games was a combined seven points.

Don’t be surprised if Nevada wins this game, but also don’t be surprised if this is the start to a momentous March run by San Diego State.

Winner: San Diego State

No. 2 Utah State Aggies vs. No. 3 Colorado State Rams- 11:59 p.m ET

This game gets another Mountain West team into the NCAA Tournament no matter what happens in the conference final. Utah State should be in any way, but for some reason, they aren’t getting much respect. The Aggies destroyed UNLV 74-53 on Thursday night. Neemias Queta had 18 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks. One thing to point out about the star center is that he’s becoming a better free-throw shooter. His season average is 68 percent, but he went 10-of-12 from the line against the Runnin’ Rebels. Hack-a-Queta isn’t going to work for defenses.

Colorado State should be in the NCAA Tournament as well because of other bubble teams losing. The Rams were already considered a tournament team by both Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm. Our Matt Waldman has them as a 12-seed in his latest bracketology. With Boise State falling, as well as Xavier in the Big East tournament, Colorado State became a tad safer. Plus, their convincing 72-62 win against a solid Fresno State team helps. David Roddy, or “Big Body Roddy” as he is so eloquently known, is a force and a personality suited for March Madness. Though Queta versus Roddy is much-watch television, both teams are balanced and they split their season series. It will be a close one.

Winner: Utah State

Mountain West in the NCAA Tournament

The updated projections are as follows:

San Diego State: 6-seed

Utah State: 10-seed

Colorado State: 11-seed

Boise State: Out (they can only blame themselves)

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