Full Court Press: Which is more imporant? CSU @ BYU or UNLV @ New Mexico?


On Saturday we had a great game between UNLV and Colorado State, as was expected. Both teams played horrible offense in the first half and then took off in the second half. In the end, it was UNLV pulling away from the Rams in the final minutes to get a big road victory, 68-61. Other than that, Air Force kept the game against San Diego State close for about the first 30 minutes, but SDSU was just too much and were able to widen the gap to 12 when the clock hit all zeros, winning 70-58.

BYU won a blowout at home on the road at Daniel Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, 79-56. More than 2/3 of the fans that showed up to the game were wearing something related to Jimmer Fredette or BYU. But in the strangest game of the night, Utah upset New Mexico at The Pit to get the season sweep over the Lobos. Chris Hines hit a buzzer beating heave from the top of the key as time expired to give the Utes a 62-60 road win over a now devastated New Mexico team.

With New Mexico's loss on Saturday night, the Lobos will now have to win the MWC Tournament if they are to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament. San Diego State has a bye this Wednesday which will set them up for their nationally televised game at home against BYU this coming Saturday.

Colorado State's loss isn't as devastating to the Rams as New Mexico's was to the Lobos, and that's mainly due to their respective remaining schedules. Colorado State still has two opportunities, granted very tough opportunites, on the road against BYU and San Diego State to get one marquee win that would make it very hard for the Selection Committee to say no to the Rams.

In last Monday's Full Court Press, I explained why the UNLV @ Colorado State game was so important for MWC Tournament seeding. in that explanation, I assumed that Colorado State would lose to both BYU and San Diego State. Although that is most likely to happen, what would happen if Colorado State is able to at least split the 2 game series?

The strange thing about where the Rams and Rebels are is that CSU still holds a 1 game conference lead, yet the Rebels seem to be in the drivers seat. UNLV only has New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming remaining on the schedule and if the Rebels can get by New Mexico at The Pit, then they could easily be 23-7 (11-5) heading into the MWC Tournament.

Colorado State currently sits at 18-8 (8-4) and has BYU, Air Force, Utah, and San Diego State still left on the schedule. Strangely enough, CSU only has to beat BYU or SDSU in order to get the MWC Tournament 3 seed. A win over either win (and wins over Air Force and Utah) would mean that the Rams would be tied at 11-5 in conference with the Runnin' Rebels and the tiebreaking procedure would kick in.

If two teams tie for a position, and one holds a win-loss advantage during regular season play, that team reveives the higher seed. If the two teams split their games during the regular season, each tied team's record shall be compared against the team occupying the highest position in the standings, counting down through the standings until one team gains the advantage, thereby gaining the higher seed. If two teams remain tied after all tie breakers have been exhausted, the last tie-breaker when determining seeds for the Conoco MWC Basketball Championships shall be team RPI, as determined by the most recent NCAA RPI available on Saturday, March 5, 2011.

 Due to CSU now having a 1-1 record against SDSU or BYU, the Rams would win the tiebreaker in this situation and CSU would get the MWC 3 seed. This is all assuming that UNLV beats New Mexico and that CSU can beat BYU or SDSU. What if UNLV lost to New Mexico? Things change entirely then. In order to lay out all the scenarios so that you can simply understand it better, here is a table:

(Note: A 2-1 record for UNLV means that they lost to New Mexico, a 3-0 record for UNLV means they beat New Mexico, a 3-1 record for CSU means they beat either SDSU or BYU, a 4-0 record for CSU means they beat both, and a 2-2 record for CSU means they lost to both)

UNLV (3-0)

UNLV (2-1)

Colorado St. (4-0)

Colorado State wins due to better conference record.

Colorado State wins due to better conference record.

Colorado St. (3-1, beat SDSU)

Colorado State wins through second part of tiebreaking process.

Colorado State wins due to better conference record.

Colorado St. (3-1, beat BYU)

Colorado State wins through second part of tiebreaking process.

Colorado State wins through second part of tiebreaking process.

Colorado St. (2-2)

UNLV wins due to better conference record.

UNLV wins through the final part of the tiebreaking process - RPI.

As you can tell by the table, the odds are still 75% in Colorado State's favor for the Rams to get the MWC Tournament 3 seed. Unfortunately, this table doesn't factor in the fact that it would be very hard for CSU to beat either team on the road. While UNLV now has the head-to-head series tied with CSU, they still need to root hard for SDSU and BYU to beat the Rams in order for UNLV to even have a chance at getting that 3 seed.

Fortunately, Colorado State has a chance to quiet all this talk about UNLV and the MWC Tournament 3 seed on Wednesday when Colorado State travels to Provo to take on BYU. UNLV also plays New Mexico in a game that could just possibly get New Mexico back into that bubble picture if they're able to make a statement against UNLV.

Best game from Saturday: UNLV @ Colorado State

This game was back and forth. Neither team got their lead above double digits and the fact that this game had a lot riding on it for both teams only made it better. Great game to watch, especially if you were a UNLV fan. UNLV pulled away from CSU late, 68-61.

Here are the current MWC Standings:

By Record:

Conference Record Overall Record
San Diego State 12-1 27-1
BYU 11-1 25-2
Colorado State 8-4 18-8
UNLV 8-5 20-7
New Mexico 5-7 17-10
Utah 5-8 12-15
Air Force 4-8 13-12
Wyoming 2-10 9-17
TCU 1-12 10-18

Wow... Utah is now only a half game behind New Mexico. That Steve Alford contract extension after last season certainly isn't looking too good right now.

By RPI:

Team RPI
San Diego State 2
BYU 3
UNLV 26
Colorado State 47
New Mexico 82
Air Force 94
Utah 108
TCU 186
Wyoming 279

Two big games for the weekdays, and by big, I mean huge.

TCU @ Utah

Tuesday

8:00 P.M. MT

The Mtn.

Colorado State @ BYU

Wednesday

6:00 P.M. MT

The Mtn.

UNLV @ New Mexico

Wednesday

7:00 P.M. MT

CBS College

Air Force @ Wyoming

Wednesday

8:00 P.M. MT

The Mtn.

Game to Watch this week: Colorado State @ BYU

BYU doesn't want to fall into an easy trap game against Colorado State before their monster matchup with San Diego State on Wednesday. Colorado State wants to secure that MWC Tournament 3 seed as well as pump up their NCAA Tournament resume. One of the two is going to have to give.

 

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Follow rebelfan1_ via Twitter for News on UNLV and the Mountain West Conference.

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