Bracketology: Mountain West remaining strong with four teams

Ethan Miller

The Mountain West still has four teams in the latest Bracketology projections from SB Nation.

The Mountain West is still going strong with four teams in most of the latest Bracketology projections. The usual suspects are hanging in there with San Diego State, UNLV, Colorado State and New Mexico. Out of that group everyone is a near lock with the exception of Colorado State.

If New Mexico can keep it up in Mountain West play ... they could end up sneaking up to a three or maybe a two seed. - Chris Dobbertean, SB Nation


Then there is Boise State, Air Force and Wyoming who are on the outside looking in. Wyoming is likely done, unless they have a massive comeback full of upsets, but the loss of Luke Martinez is too big to overcome. Air Force is in the discussion with a 5-2 league record which includes wins over Boise State and San Diego State.

The Falcons are holding their home court, and if they want to be considered a true at-large hopeful they will need to get a few road wins over the top half of the league.

Even though Boise State defeated UNLV this past Saturday at home, it was not enough to get them in the latest projections. However, if they can beat San Diego State on the road this week, and take care of Wyoming at home they should be in everyone's field.

Here are the latest bracket projections from SB Nation:

No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 14 Harvard
No. 6 UNLV vs. No. 11 Memphis
No. 7 San Diego State vs. No. 10 North Carolina
No. 8 Colorado State vs. No. 9 UCLA

Boise State was the fifth team out, and Air Force was considered for the field of 68.

Here is the analysis that Chris Dobbertean provides on the Mountain West:

Protected Seeds (1): Midwest No. 3 New Mexico
Much like Miami, the Lobos are an RPI surprise, as tney've jumped up to No. 5 in the rankings, thanks to six Top 50 wins, 0 Top 100 wins, and an absence of bad losses. If New Mexico can keep it up in Mountain West play, always a difficult task, they could end up sneaking up to a three or maybe a two seed.

Other Locks (2): UNLV, San Diego State
Both of these squads are taking advantage of the strong Mountain West in building up respectable, but not completely bulletproof, profiles. The Runnin' Rebels have only lost to teams currently inside the Top 50 (2-5, with wins at San Diego State and over Iowa State), while the Aztecs have defeated New Mexico and Colorado State at home and UCLA in Anaheim, while losing to Air Force and Wyoming on the road.

Bubble In (1): Colorado State
Much like last season, the Rams are taking care of their Mountain West home games, which has helped contribute to their unexpectedly lofty Top 15 RPI ranking. However, winning on the road continues to be a problem for Colorado State in the league, as Larry Eustachy's team has only managed to beat Fresno State so far. There is hope for the Rams, however, as their losses at New Mexico and San Diego State were at least competitive.

Bubble Out: Boise State, Air Force, Wyoming
The Broncos got three-point specialist Jeff Elorriaga back for Saturday's home win over UNLV. If Boise State keeps winning with him in the lineup, it might get back to the right side of the bubble in the near future. Much like Colorado State, Air Force has taken advantage of its home games to get into the bid picture. The Falcons have so far defeated Boise State and San Diego State at Clune Arena and Wyoming in Laramie, but Wednesday's trip to Albuquerque will be a major test for Air Force's newfound hopes. As for the Cowboys, they've lost four straight and are on the verge of falling completely out of the picture. A loss in Boise on Saturday would all but doom Wyoming to the NIT or worse.

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