A wide-open Mountain West men's basketball tournament tips off today from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas!
The 1-seed Boise State Broncos are the favorites to win, but not by much as several of the top dogs in the conference are up near the top with them. The Broncos finished 15-3 in conference play, one game ahead in the loss column of Colorado State and San Diego State and two ahead of Wyoming.
Here's how the oddsmakers at WynnBET Sportsbook are breaking down the field:
Mountain West Conference Tournament Odds
- Boise State: +240
- San Diego State: +320
- Colorado State: +340
- Wyoming: +775
- UNLV +1100
- Utah State: +1500
- Fresno State: +1600
- Nevada: +3000
- New Mexico: +7500
- Air Force: +30000
- San Jose State: +50000
Big East Conference Tournament Bracket and Standings
The first round of action begins today with an early 8-9 matchup at 11 a.m local time (2 p.m. ET) between Nevada and New Mexico. Three games are on the docket for Wednesday, followed by four on Thursday, the semifinals Friday, and the championship match for Saturday afternoon in Vegas.
Mountain West Conference Tournament Schedule (Dates, Times, Channel)
First round action tips off today beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. local time). All three games are scheduled to tip every two and a half hours.
Thursday's action begins at noon local time (3:00 p.m. ET), with the final matchup of the day getting underway at 8:30 p.m. (11:30 ET). Friday's semifinals tip at 6:30 (9:30 ET) with the championship game at 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET)
Thursdays games will air on the Mountain West Network, with CBS Sports Network picking up the action beginning on Thursday. The championship game will air on CBS Saturday afternoon.
Mountain West Conference Tournament Prediction and Pick
I want to stress that I try to be as consistent as possible here.
Earlier in the week, I mentioned how I love Stephen F. Austin to win the WAC. Amongst my rationale was their red-hot play over their last 10 games, dominating the rest of the conference in several key metrics including net rating, offensive and defensive rating, effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage and free throw attempt rate, which they ranked at or right near the top.
So when I say I don't love San Diego State here, despite them being at the top of several of these same numbers over their last 10 games, it's more-so because the defense is likely to tire them over a three-day stretch.
Instead, I'll back a squad I liked several weeks ago as a sneaky dark horse Final Four team in Colorado State at +340. The Rams are lethal as an offensive unit, ranking 17th in adjusted efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and shoot 56% from inside the arc. They also have the 15th-lowest turnover percentage in all of college basketball and shoot a blistering 78.9% from the free throw line.
Defensively, they've actually been much better as of late, giving up no more than 70-points twice since the start of February (72 to Nevada in which they won by 10, and 74 in OT to No. 1 Boise State on the road).
Give me the Rams and their upperclassmen-led squad to get it done in Vegas.
For what it's worth, our Peter Dewey is on board with the Cowboys to get it done at +775 odds.
LEAN: Colorado State +340
Mountain West Conference Tournament Dark Horse
The Aggies haven't caught much of a break this season coming in with lofty expectations.
Between injuries and some heartbreakers along the way, they've plummeted to the No. 7 seed in conference play.
However, they could still be ripe for some upsets and perhaps make a run for an automatic bid.
Utah State, despite a seventh-place finish actually owns the 4th-best KenPom adjusted efficiency margin in the conference, and are an elite passing team, ranking second in the country in assists per field goals made. They also can get any shot they like inside, shooting just under 57% from inside the arc.
The Aggies would have a tough task after advancing past Air Force, playing No. 2 Colorado State followed by most likely No. 3 San Diego State just to make it to the championship game, but stars Justin Bean and Brandon Horvath may be able to extend their season a little longer in their senior years.
LEAN: Utah State +1500
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