Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
In six weeks' time, we'll know officially which Mountain West Conference teams will be in the 2013 NCAA tournament. But until then we have Bracketology reports to report on. MW Connection covers the latest reports.
You know its February because of two things:
- NCAA "Bracketology" are becoming a twice-a-week phenomena.
As we reported earlier in the week, SB Nation's resident Bracketologist Chris Dobbertean placed four MWC teams in the NCAA Tournament - the Colorado St. Rams, New Mexico Lobos, San Diego St. Aztecs and UNLV Runnin' Rebels.
ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the same four teams in the Big Dance in his report this past Tuesday, which our own Jeremy Mauss recapped.
Lunardi released a new Bracket today and there are a few changes:
- No. 6 UNLV vs. 11th-seeded the Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders in the South Bracket in Dayton, OH.
- No. 6. San Diego St. vs. the 11-seeded Iowa St. Cyclones in the East Bracket in Lexington, KY.
- No. 8 Colorado St. vs. the ninth-seeded Missouri Tigers in the South Bracket in Kansas City, MO.
While the seeds didn't change, the regions, opponents and cities did. Luckily, Lunardi's past brackets are archived so you can go back and check.
New Mexico remained a 4-seed playing the 13th-seeded Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in Austin, TX - but the Lobos were moved from the South Region to the West Region in today's projection.
No MWC teams are listed in Lunardi's eight bubble teams.
Over at CBSSPorts.com, Jerry Palm also updated his Bracketology bracket today and like Tuesday's bracket, he has four MWC teams in - CSU, UNM, SDSU and UNLV.
The breakdown goes like this:
- The Lobos are the three-seed vs. the 14-seed Montana Grizzlies in the South Bracket playing in Austin, TX.
- SDSU is a projected 5-seed vs. the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in the Midwest Bracket in San Jose, CA.
- UNM is the 5-seed playing the winner of the 12-seed first round match - the UMass Minutemen vs. the Arizona St. Sun Devils in the West Bracket in Kansas City, MO.
- Finally, ninth-seeded Colorado St. vs. eighth-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers in the East Bracket in Philadelphia, PA.
Additionally, Palm projects that New Mexico will win the automatic bid from the MWC.
The Sporting News posted their latest Field of 68 projection on Monday. Fortunately Wednesday's MWC games probably didn't change it much.
TSN's Ryan Fagen doesn't present a bracket, just the likely seeds. Unlike Lunardi and Palm, he still had six MWC teams in his tournament field:
- New Mexico and UNLV were projected as No. 5 seeds along with the N.C. State Wolfpack and Cincinnati Bearcats.
- San Diego St. is projected as a No. 6 seed along with the UCLA Bruins, Kansas St. Wildcats and Mississippi Rebels.
- Colorado St. is a No. 9 seed along with the Oklahoma St. Cowboys, Illinois Fighting Illini and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. CSU garnered the only write up of all the MWC teams this week:
It’s fair to say the computers like Colorado State more than the human poll voters. The Rams are ranked 23rd in the RPI and 19th in the Pomeroy ratings, but received just a single 25th-place vote in the AP poll and only six points in coaches poll. Larry Eustachy’s team has a pair of important home games this week, against tournament bubble teams Boise State and Wyoming.
It's likely that Fagen will move these two teams to "On the Outside" status next week.
We'll also likely begin to hear bubble talk for the Air Force Falcons depending on their game at home against San Diego St. Saturday.