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Mountain West Basketball Bracketology: February 17

Three teams are firm at-large candidates heading into the third weekend of February!

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 11 UNLV at San Diego State Photo by Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As we enter the final four- to five-game stretch of the Mountain West men’s basketball season, let’s dive into this week’s bracketology!

Boise State (20-6, 10-3)

NET: 23

KenPom: 28

Joe Lunardi’s Bracket: 10-seed

Bracket Matrix Tracker (out of 96, as of Feb. 16): 94

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 10.15

Skinny: Like Nevada, Boise State remains one game back of San Diego State in the conference standings. They narrowly beat Colorado State on Wednesday to secure their 7th Quad 2 victory of the season and their 8th Q1-2 win. They square off with UNLV (Quad 3) before capping the season off with four straight Quad 1-2 opponents. Three of their final five are at home, which gives them a slight edge, but Leon Rice’s squad will once again look to finish off the regular season strong before it heads to the conference tournament. Right now, they’d be the second-most likely at-large candidate.

New Mexico (19-7, 6-7)

NET: 53

KenPom: 63

Lunardi: Next Four Out

Bracket Matrix: 50

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 10.88

Skinny: I wrote about this briefly already — check that out here — but New Mexico is reeling. They’ve lost four straight and five of their last six, dropping to sub .500 in Mountain West play for the first time all season. They’re the only team in the top-70 of the NET with four combined Quad 3 and 4 losses — a black eye on a resume which isn’t super stacked to begin with. They appeared on Lunardi’s Next Four Out in his most recent update. New Mexico desperately needs 1.) Jaelen House back and 2.) to, you know, win games.

Nevada (20-6, 10-3)

NET: 32

KenPom: 36

Lunardi: 10-seed

Bracket Matrix: 96

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 9.2

Skinny: Nevada, who came in at No. 30 in this week’s AP Poll, is in a current two-way tie with Boise for the second-seed in the Mountain West. They’ve won four straight and have climbed to No. 32 in the NET, putting themselves in firm at-large territory. Though they will begin the easiest part of their conference schedule next week with four straight Quad 3 opponents to close out the regular season. They’re 7-0 in such games this season, and can’t afford many — if any — bad losses if they want to keep themselves off the edge heading into the first weeks of March.

San Diego State (21-5, 12-2)

NET: 18


KenPom: 19

Lunardi: 7-seed

Bracket Matrix: 96

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 5.85

Skinny: San Diego State remains the peak model for consistency within the Mountain West. They’ve won four straight and eight of their last nine, including a rock fight 45-43 win over Fresno State on Wednesday. Actually, that might be disrespectful to rock fights, but a basketball game was certainly played. That’s for certain — a win is a win in the end, right? They have eight Quad 1-2 wins this season and will have a chance at two more next weekend against New Mexico followed by Boise State. The Aztecs remain the league’s most likely at-large candidate.

Utah State (20-7, 9-5)

NET: 37

KenPom: 39

Lunardi: Next Four Out

Bracket Matrix: 6

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 11.2

Skinny: Utah State bounced back from its five-point loss to San Jose State with a 15-point win over Air Force on Tuesday. The Aggies are still winless in four games against Quad 1 opponents — despite six Quad 2 victories — and will have just one more Quad 1 bout (season finale vs. Boise State). The Aggies, who already have a pair of two bad Quad 4 losses from non-conference play, have zero room for error heading into the final stretch. They have a huge Q2 game against Nevada at home this weekend to potentially boost their resume, but they will need more than that if they want to get back into Bubble territory.