Only two Mountain West teams are in USA Today's projected 2015 NCAA Tournament field. The first team comes as no surprise: San Diego State.
Writers Scott Gleeson and Tim McGary predicted the Aztecs would be a 5-seed in the West region, facing a play-in 12-seed in their first game. In USA Today's bracket, SDSU would most likely play Oklahoma in its second game (Aztecs always seem to play the Sooners in the Big Dance) and would match up against Arizona for a Sweet 16 matchup. If it gets by the Wildcats, SDSU would most likely play Virginia or Gonzaga in the Elite Eight.
But what about that second MW team? That's the key question for the entire conference season this year. Will Boise State finally come together and reach its potential? Will UNLV's talent be too much for other teams to handle? Can Larry Nance, Jr. carry the Cowboys to unprecedented prominence?
Gleeson and McGary appear to believe in the Rebels' 2014-15 talent, projecting UNLV as a 9-seed in the South region. UNLV would play UCLA in its first game. Hopefully for Rebels fans, this game would end differently than the recent closed scrimmage between these two teams. If the Rebels got past the Bruins, they would almost definitely play 1-seed Duke in the second game. And if the Rebels can pull off the incredible upset, they'll most likely meet Iowa State or Michigan State in the Sweet 16 and Kansas or Florida in the Elite Eight.