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 #4 - What Women’s Basketball Teams in the Mountain West Missed Out on Tournaments?
First off, I want to be upfront and admit that I don’t know much at all about the women’s basketball in the Mountain West. That said, I wanted to write about this since these programs are also missing out on the fun & excitement of tournament basketball this spring. Also, I must admit that I have felt some of that fun & excitement as a fan back in the Spring of 2007. I was still an undergrad at the University of Wyoming, and I really enjoyed following the Wyoming Cowgirls that spring as they went on a run to win the 2007 Women’s NIT. I feel bad for the players and fans of the programs that will not get a chance for such moments in 2020.
With that said, here is the likely post season breakdown for MWC Women’s Basketball:
Boise State - NCAA Tournament
Fresno State - NIT
San Jose State & Wyoming - WBI (Women’s Basketball Invitational)
Every other team in the MWC had a losing record and was likely not going to have a chance at tournament play.
Boise State won the Mountain West Tournament this year. As such, they were going to the NCAA Tournament. From what I found online, Boise State would not have been a high seed. One projection that seemed reasonable had Boise State as a 12-Seed where they would have had to face a 5-Seed in Princeton in the first round. That would have made for a difficult challenge for Boise State had things played out that way as Princeton was 26-1 this season.
Fresno State may be getting a tough break here. They were 25-7 on the season, but they did not win the Mountain West Tournament. From what I saw online, they were not being projected into the NCAA Tournament. As such, it looks like they were headed to the Women’s NIT. I’d assume that they would have likely been a higher seed and had a chance to host some games in the NIT. It was possible they could have went on a run in the tournament and played deep into the tournament.
San Jose State finished 19-12 on the season. I did not find much in the way of Women’s NIT projections, but what I did find did not include them. I do know that Utah State played in the WBI last season after finishing the season with a 16-15 record. As such, I think an invite to San Jose State this season was likely. That said, I have no idea whether San Jose State would have accepted. Personally, I’d have hoped so. San Jose State women’s basketball has been one of the feel-good stories of the year so far in Mountain West sports. 19-12 might not sound impressive, but San Jose State had not had a winning season since 2005. San Jose State was 6-24 in 2018/19 & 7-23 in 2017/18. This team was picked to finish last in the preseason poll for the Mountain West. Instead, they finished 3rd.
Wyoming finished the season 17-12 this year. For similar reasons as San Jose State, I’d think that a WBI invite was very possible. Gerald Mattinson just finished his 1st season as the head coach. It would have made some sense for Wyoming to accept an invite to a tournament where additional games and practices might allow Mattinson to build momentum for the Cowgirls going into his second season as coach.
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 women’s basketball team most missed out becuase of the cancellations of all of the tournaments?
This poll is closed
Boise State (The NCAA Tournament with a chance for upsets)
Fresno State (Chance at a run in the NIT)
San Jose State (What a turnaround, deserved tournament basketball)
Wyoming (New coach and team could use tournament basketball)
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 various tournaments would have turned out differently than I laid out above.