Spring sports were abruptly cancelled across the country to try and stop the spread of COVID-19 as we stopped large gatherings and started practicing social distancing. Just focusing on the impact to collegiate sports, we are left with some unanswered questions because of the sudden sports halt.
As such, this article series looks to discuss some of these unanswered questions and get your take (via a poll at the bottom of the article) on the sports questions that will have to go unanswered on some level since so many sporting events were cancelled.
Question #3 - What Other Mountain West Teams Likely Missed Out on Postseason Tournaments?
We know that Utah State and San Diego State were on the verge of going to the NCAA Tournament right before all the college basketball tournaments started being cancelled.
As for the other Mountain West Conference members, invitations to the other tournaments was likely going to break down like this:
NIT - Boise State
CBI or CIT- Nevada & Colorado State
UNLV was reportedly not going to accept an invite to the CBI or CIT.
New Mexico would not have accepted the CIT or CBI where paying to play additional games would have been a deal-breaker.
No other Mountain West Team really was in consideration for tournament play since Fresno State, Air Force, San Jose State, and Wyoming all had losing seasons.
Boise State was not exactly a given for the NIT, but several projections for the NIT brackets had the Broncos making it. For that reason, I’ll put them there for the sake of this article. However, I do so with the idea of them being a lower seed (Like a 7 or 8). That is important because the first couple of rounds would be campus sites, meaning Boise State would have been facing road games. Boise State is saying goodbye to their fair share of seniors: Justinian Jessup at Guard, Alex Hobbs at Guard, Marcus Dickinson at Guard, RJ Williams at Forward & Robin Jorch at Center. It is too bad they could not have gotten one more shot at tournament play together.
Nevada was pretty much looking at the CBI or CIT after losing to Wyoming in the Mountain West Tournament. It was not a certainty that Nevada would have accepted an invite from one of these tournaments (mainly because programs typically lose money by having to play in these tournament games). Nevada played in (and won) the CBI back in 2016. On some level, it would have made sense for Nevada to return in 2020. Steve Alford is in Year 1 at Nevada. Additional games and practices could be a nice springboard for the Wolf Pack going into the coming fall and Year 2 for Alford in Reno. Otherwise, it would have been nice for the Nevada seniors: Nisre Zouzoua at Guard, Johncarlos Reyes at Center, Jazz Johnson at Guard & Lindsey Drew at Guard.
Colorado State was another team looking at the CBI or CIT after losing to Wyoming in the Mountain West Tournament. Like Nevada, it was an unknown whether Colorado State would have accepted an invite to one of these tournament, considering the financial costs attached. However, it would have made sense for similar reasons for the Rams to consider accepting an invite. Niko Medved just finished Year #2 in Fort Collins. Medved probably would be happy to go back to the CIT as he has gone to the CIT 3 times (twice while at Furman & once at Drake) as a head coach. Additionally, some extra games and practices for the Rams could have been beneficial for the upcoming season. The Rams were a pretty young team this past season. Colorado State only loses 3 seniors from their rotation: Kris Martin at Guard, Hyron Edwards at Guard & Niko Carvacho at Center (who will be a pretty big loss).
I’ve made some assumptions above about how the tournament invites would have happened, so my question to all of you readers is a little different than the unanswered question in the article.
Which team above most missed out because of the cancellations of all of the tournaments?
This poll is closed
Boise State (Best Chance at NIT or possibly a top team in the CBI at worst and a chance for the seniors to go out on a high note.)
Nevada (Alford needed some more games and practices with the team and a shot at getting another CBI championship for Nevada.)
Colorado State (A young team with a coach just starting to get things going in the right direction that could have used some positive momentum going into the next season.)
Also, please leave your thoughts in the comments below about what team most missed out because of the cancellation of the different tournaments and if you think the ‘other’ tournaments would have turned out differently than I laid out above.