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Wyoming vs. Utah State: Cowboys enter MW tournament with confidence against Aggies

The first round of the Mountain West Champions tournament pits a hungry Wyoming squad against a Utah State team that the Cowboys thrashed just one week ago.

Larry Nance Jr. will lead Wyoming against Utah State on Thursday.
Larry Nance Jr. will lead Wyoming against Utah State on Thursday.
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

If the result of Wyoming and Utah State's last meeting is any indication, Cowboys fans should expect to see their team advance to the Mountain West tournament semifinal.

Wyoming and Utah State square off in the first round Thursday. The Pokes (22-9) defeated the Aggies 76-53 last week. According to Wyoming's sports information staff, that 23-point thrashing is the Cowboys' largest win margin in a Mountain West game since 2002.

The Cowboys led Utah State (18-12) by as many as 25 points in the second half, and Larry Nance Jr., who was recently named All-Mountain West First Team, helped Wyoming with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Nance enters Thursday's matchup averaging 16.1 points and 7.4 rebound per game and is fresh off back-to-back 20-point games. Josh Adams (All-MW Third Team) should help Nance offensively against the Aggies, as the junior averages over 12 points per game.

Jalen Moore's 15.1 points and 6.7 rebounds leads Utah State this season while David Collette is currently ninth in the Mountain West by averaging 12.9 points per game.

Thursday's winner advances to face either Boise State or the winner of New Mexico and Air Force in Friday's semifinal matchup.

Wyoming is 6-6 all-time in the first round of the Mountain West tournament, but it leads the head-to-head series with Utah State 46-25. It is also 2-1 against the Aggies at neutral sites.

The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games and should be hungry for an important tournament win. Expect Wyoming to roll Thursday in Las Vegas.