Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE
Stakes are high on the early game of the regular season conference finale.
Prepare yourselves, Selection Sunday is coming. Until then, we'll have to settle for a regular season finale of Mountain West Basketball. The Aztecs kickoff the match against the Broncos following their low scoring win over Air Force. The Broncos, on the other hand, are still barely in the bracket as an at-large bid, after a tough loss to UNLV on the road. For Boise State to be safely in the bracket, they must win on Saturday.
As a seeding issue for the Mountain West tourney, both teams are pretty set. SDSU is sitting at No. 4 with BSU right behind them at No. 5 in the standings (Both UNLV and CSU are tied for second, however their games are both at home against Fresno State and Nevada respectfully.). Essentially, this game will be replayed next week at the tournament. The weighed importance of this match is NCAA seeding for SDSU, and staying in the bracket for Boise State.
The key matchups to look for is the scoring team of Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks (33.0 PPG combined) versusJamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley (30.3 PPG combined). Another thing to look for is home/road differential. The MWC teams in general (except for New Mexico and Colorado State) all have losing records on the road in conference play, while at home, the top six teams either are undefeated or have one loss at home. Expect the Taco Bell Arena (Screw "The Pavilion," can we call it "The Big Burrito"?) to be rocking and the Broncos to come out hot. If SDSU can tune out the noise and forget that they're not on the road, they might be able to win this game.
The key question is: with a loss, can BSU still get an at-large bid? The answer depends on what happens for the rest of the weekend and how well they do in the conference tournament.