- The Mountain West Tournament begins March 9 from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas
- Winner gets an automatic berth, though three teams are expected to be selected to the NCAA Tournament
- See Mountain West Tournament odds, seeds, bracket, and full tournament preview below
There are a whole lotta schools waiting for their name to be called on selection Sunday from the Mountain West.
They can end the drama early, if they can claim the automatic bid that comes with winning the Conference Tournament, which begins on Wednesday, March 9 from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Boise State Broncos won the regular season crown with a sharp 15-3 conference mark, just a game ahead of the Colorado State Rams and 1.5 games over the San Diego State Aztecs. Not surprisingly, those three dot the top of the betting leaderboard.
2022 Mountain West Tournament Odds
|San Diego State||+350|
|San Jose State||+15000|
Odds from Barstool Sportsbook on March 7.
Mountain West Conference Tournament Breakdown
The top five teams by record all get a bye to the second round. The bottom six teams play down on Wednesday, March 9. All of those games can be seen live on the Mountain West Network.
Those winners will slot into Thursday games against the top three teams, with Wyoming vs UNLV already set as the 4-5 seeds. The winners of those four games will advance to semi-final Friday. All of those games will be available on CBS Sports Network.
The 2022 Mountain West Tournament Bracket. pic.twitter.com/wHDhYgtZsH
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 6, 2022
It culminates with the championship final on Saturday, March 12, slated to tip off at 6pm ET. That will air live on CBS.
Three of these mid-majors have distant NCAA Tournament odds: Boise State, San Diego State and the Wyoming Cowboys.
Our projected March Madness Bracket has Boise State and San Diego State as 7-seeds, while Colorado State is projected to play SMU in a First Four battle in the South Bracket for the right to the 12 seed.
Boise State Betting Outlook
The Broncos’ bread and butter is a stout defense, one that ranks second in the nation in KenPom efficiency, trailing only Texas Tech.
However, they finished only third in the conference in points allowed per game, at 60.8, which is good for 14th in the NCAA.
This was a fantastic offensive sequence from Abu Kigab last night for Boise State. pic.twitter.com/NK7bhaXF2i
— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) March 2, 2022
They were led by a pair of all-conference second-teamers, including forward Abu Kigab. He led the team averaging 14.7 points, while also adding 5.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
He was flanked by guard Marcus Shaver Jr, who averaged 13.9 points and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting a sharp 37.8% from downtown.
Inside their conference, the Broncos dropped both ends of their season series to the Colorado State, and eeked out close wins in a season sweep of San Diego State.
SDSU, Colorado State Should Challenge
The Broncos’ defense can be matched by the Aztecs, who gave up just 58.3 points per game on the year, which ranks second in Division I, trailing only North Texas.
One of their losses to Boise State was a 42-37 bare-knuckle brawl, with SDSU shooting just 28.1% from the field. They will have their struggles offensively, as they ranked eighth in the conference at 66.3 points per game.
Matt Bradley in a 73-66 win @ Wyoming : 30 points (10-20 shooting, 5-9 from 3 & 5-7 from the FT line), 5 rebounds & 4 assists in 33 minutes pic.twitter.com/xTLN6tkZdv
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) March 1, 2022
They’ll only go as far as 6-foot-4 guard Matt Bradley will take them. Bradley, also picked to the Mountain West second team, led the Aztecs in scoring (17.8ppg) and rebounding (5.3rpg), while shooting 41.7% from downtown. He’s the only player on the team that averaged double-digits in scoring.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 9, 2022
Away from all that drag-out defense are the Rams, who led the conference in scoring at 75 points per game, while holding teams to a still-respectable 66.4 points against.
They rank 17th in KenPom’s offensive efficiency metric, and are led by conference player of the year David Roddy. The 6-foot-6, do-everything wing was third in scoring in the league at 19.5 points per game, on a crisp 57.5% shooting from the field. He also added 7.6 rebounds.
Isaiah Stevens had a strong year as well, averaging 14.8 points and a team-leading 4.9 assists.
Others Mountain West Teams Worth Considering
Wyoming may have the best duo in Mountain West, and are considered the most on-the-bubble team to make the tournament. After racing out to a 21-7 record, they hit a season-ending wall, dropping four of their final seven.
WHAT A FINISH. Colorado Springs native Hunter Maldonado hits a layup at the buzzer to give Wyoming a 63-61 win at Air Force. pic.twitter.com/WsgFCoGQ6c
— Josh Criswell (@criswell_sports) January 29, 2022
Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado could conceivably carry the Cowboys in a short tourney. Ike averaged 19.9 points and 9.6 rebounds. Maldonado finished with averages of 18.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists.
— The Scouting Rapport (@ScoutingRapport) February 28, 2022
How about a Day 1 team? The Fresno State Bulldogs may be worth a flier. They were just a tick off of San Diego State’s 58.3 points allowed at 58.4, and they boast junior forward Orlando Robinson, who is projected as an NBA pick this summer.
The 7-footer averaged 19.2 points and 8.2 rebounds on 48.1% shooting this season. Fresno State could be seeing San Diego State in the quarters, and the big man might be a difference maker.
Mountain West Tournament Best Bet
There’s no shortage of talent in Mountain West, currently ranked No. 5 in the conference RPI rankings, ahead of conferences like the ACC and Pac-12.
It’s why Boise State, Colorado State, Wyoming, Fresno State, San Diego State and Utah State are all named as longshots in the odds to make the Final Four.
In a tournament that features a ton of defense, get me the team boasting some offense and the player of the year in Roddy to ring up that automatic bid.
The pick: Colorado State (+350)
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