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2018 NCAA Bracketology: Mountain West projected with two teams in the field

Is the Mountain West finally getting to the level it used to be at?

Nevada v Iowa State Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The past two years of Mountain West basketball has been pretty very bad on the national scene. There have been only one NCAA Tournament team each of the past two seasons, both loses.

Perhaps the tide is turning and the conference can get multiple teams in for the first time since the 2015 Big Dance when it was Wyoming, San Diego State and Boise State.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has published a way-too-early field of 68 and he has two (!) Mountain West team in his initial projected field. He has Nevada in the actual field of 64 as a 12 seed against No. 5 seed Saint Mary’s — a rematch of the 2016-17 season opener — then San Diego State as the last team in and an 11 seed playing Providence in the opening round games in Dayton.

Things clearly will change as Nevada may or may not retain the services of Cameron Oliver who has put his name in the NBA Draft to test the waters for the second straight year. He has not signed an agent and could come back, but if he goes pro that very well could change the Wolf Pack’s projections for next year. Lunardi made this bracket after Oliver declared so he could have them higher on his next update if Oliver is in a Wolf Pack uniform.

Having San Diego State in the field makes sense as they are nearly always at the top of the Mountain West. The Aztecs had some injury issues this past year and their defense was not up to their normal standards as it was still good but not an elite unit.

The offense is always a concern with San Diego State but they do get a scorer with Devin Watson who is now eligible with the Aztecs. While at San Francisco he averaged 20.3 points and 4.9 assists per game.

The main goal for the Mountain West is to get multiple teams in the NCAA Tournament next year.