The Nevada Wolf Pack will begin their run in the 2017 Mountain West conference tournament on Thursday as the number one seed when they face off against the eight-seeded Utah State Aggies.
The Wolf Pack come into the conference tournament on six game winning streak as the big favorites to win the conference tournament. But recent history is not in favor of the Wolf Pack due to this statistic: In 17 Mountain West conference tournaments, the top seed has only won it three times and the last team to win the regular season title and conference tournament title was New Mexico in 2013. These stats are something that Nevada head coach Eric Musselman is taking to heart.
Musselman said that,“It’s maturity, professionalism, and understanding that the last 10 Mountain West outright champions have not really succeeded in the postseason tournament. All those things have been discussed and will continue to be discussed until we tip-off. It’s important for guys to understand that”.
The Wolf Pack are playing against a Utah State team that handed them one of their four conference losses this season on February 1st when the Wolf Pack fell to the Aggies 74-57 in Logan, Utah. Nevada returned the favor with a 77-66 victory over Utah State in Reno on February 18th.
While the Aggies underachieved record-wise this season, this is a talented team that can give the Wolf Pack problems on the court. They pose a difficult matchup for Nevada due to their good length and athleticism in the front court and Koby McEwen is the most talented freshman in the conference and they are built to give the Wolf Pack all they can handle and could steal a few wins in Vegas.
But the Wolf Pack are just a better overall team and have too many weapons for the Aggies to try to contain and that should be enough for the Wolf Pack to win this game and advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament where they will face either New Mexico or Fresno State on Friday.