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2023-24 Mountain West Basketball Bracketology: January 19

We have one new team this week!

NCAA Basketball: UNLV at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Mountain West basketball is as competitive with as much parity as it’s been in over a decade. There have been both highs and lows with most of the teams throughout the first month of conference play—especially at the top.

Like we do each week, let’s review which Mountain West squads could be in the hunt for the NCAA Tournament, which is two months away! Let’s hop into it!

Boise State

NET: 52

KenPom: 56

Lunardi: First Four Out

Bracket Matrix: 46 brackets (out of 74)

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 10.3

Skinny: We have a new team in the mix! This marks the first week that Boise State cracked the list, even though they still rank outside the top-50 in NET. Nevertheless, they have the most Quad 1 wins (3) paired with the most Quad 1-2 wins (6) in the Mountain West—going 3-3—and picked up two crucial wins over Colorado State and Nevada, with the latter being on the road. The Broncos did suffer a Quad 3 loss to UNLV at home, but look to bounce back at home Saturday against a very tough San Diego State squad.

Colorado State

NET: 23

KenPom: 29

Lunardi: 6-seed

Bracket Matrix: 74

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 6.2

Skinny: Despite losing two consecutive games to Quad 1 opponents last week, it has maintained a top-25 spot in the NET. It followed suit earlier this week with a nine-point win at home against Air Force, its only game so far. The Rams are 2-3 in Q1 foes, but 10-0 against every other quadrant; they look to keep that unbeaten streak alive at home against UNLV Friday before it plays three of their next four on the road, beginning with Nevada Wednesday.


NET: 45

KenPom: 46

Lunardi: 9-seed

Bracket Matrix: 72

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 9.0

Skinny: Nevada nearly completed a double-digit comeback Wednesday against San Diego State, but let go of the rope late and lost by 12. It has now lost two straight after winning 15 of its first 16 games. The Wolf Pack dropped 15 spots in the NET over the last week and is on the verge of dropping out of the top-50 in NET. They will have a chance to snap their two-game skid Saturday at Wyoming, which can be a tricky place to play, before five of their next six will be against Quad 1 foes, beginning with Colorado State Wednesday, Jan. 24.

New Mexico

NET: 27

KenPom: 31

Lunardi: First Four Out

Bracket Matrix: 34

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 10.2

Skinny: New Mexico’s climbed 17 spots in the NET over the last 10 days, including 14 spots over the last week, with two Quad 1 victories over San Diego State and Utah State by a combined 31 points. We’ve previously talked about the stretch the Lobos needed to have to really enter the race—and they did just that. Those pair of Q1 wins are the only ones it has this season, moving to 2-2 in Q1 games and 3-3 in Q1-2 games. It will have a pair of Q3 games before it squares off with Nevada and Boise State at home at the end of the month. But the last six days were a huge development for Richard Pitino and Co.

San Diego State



Lunardi: 6-seed

Bracket Matrix: 74

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 5.7

Skinny: San Diego State went 1-1 over this last week; it got crushed on the road Saturday against New Mexico, but followed suit with an important 12-point win over the Wolf Pack at home Wednesday. The Aztecs remained in the top-20 in NET for the second consecutive week and will have a chance to build on its six Quad 1-2 wins this weekend with a road date at Boise State Saturday.

Utah State



Lunardi: 6-seed

Bracket Matrix: 74

Average Bracket Matrix Seed: 6.4

Skinny: Utah State took a slight step back in the NET after their 13-point loss on the road in Albuquerque, N.M., which snapped its 15-game win streak. But Utah State’s still in the top-25 in NET and a clear NCAA Tournament team. Their only two losses have been to Quad 1 opponents—Bradley and (now) New Mexico; they are a resounding 12-0 against teams from the other quadrants and a MW-best 6-2 in Quad 1-2 games. This is an exceptional team with a MW Player of the Year candidate in Great Osobor, who’s averaging 22.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists on 67.9 percent true shooting through five MW games.