Let’s go back two and a half weeks.
It’s the final of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. Wyoming has just forced overtime against the #23 team in the country, USC. They have the momentum, and they have USC knocked back on their heels. They need a knockout punch.
The punch never comes. Wyoming falls 94-92 in overtime.
However, fans stayed optimistic. Jon Rothstein took notice. We almost beat a nationally ranked team, fans said. The Mountain West should be easy.
It has not been easy.
Wyoming has lost to Fresno State and UNLV in back-to-back games, two teams in the lower half of the conference in terms of RPI.
Granted, those two games were on the road. Road wins are hard to come by in the Mountain West.
Wyoming has a chance to right the ship tonight against Utah State. The Aggies, like UNLV and Fresno, are on the wrong side of the conference in RPI. They’re the second worst, as a matter of fact.
So instead of mourning the first three conference games, let’s look forward to tonight’s matchup.
What does Utah State do well?
Just by glancing at their schedule, it looks like they’ve done well at playing to their competition (Utah State fans, you can take that however you want). They took Boise State to the wire and turned around and lost to Air Force by five.
Has there been an overarching problem for the Cowboys?
Their shooting percentage is surprisingly low. They’re third to last in the conference with 42.2% from the field. Now, that could be partially attributed to their volume of shooting (59 attempts/game, third most in the MW).
This wouldn’t be as big of a problem, but the Cowboys are having a rough time on defense. They’ll dig themselves into holes the offense can’t get them out of, as evidenced by the UNLV and Fresno games.
But they’re playing at home. That should help.
It definitely will.
The AA has such a legendary reputation that we started calling it the Dome of Doom. Road wins in Laramie have been pretty rare over the last five years and that’s not a trend that’ll change any time soon.
Are you going to make a prediction?
Wyoming is continuing the trend of doing the exact opposite of my prediction. So my prediction for this game is that some basketball will be played and some people are going to leave happy and others are going to be sad.
See you next time.