- The Western Athletic Conference Tournament takes place from March 12-14 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas
- New Mexico State had a perfect conference record and is riding a 19 game win streak as the -220 tournament favorite
- See the full field odds and best bet for the tournament below
Championship week leading up to the NCAA Men’s Tournament is in full swing, and pretty soon the Western Athletic Conference will be able to add its champion into the mix.
The WAC Tournament will run from March 12-14 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, where eight teams will vie for an automatic bid into the coveted 68-team March Madness field that includes some of the top schools from the 2020 National Championship odds.
New Mexico State is the overwhelming favorite, and for good reason. The Aggies have won 19-straight games (which includes the entire conference schedule). Here’s a look at the odds for each school:
2020 WAC Tournament odds
|Team||Odds at MyBookie|
|New Mexico State||-220|
|UT Rio Grande Valley||+1200|
|Cal State Bakersfield||+1500|
Odds taken March 10
WAC Tournament Bracket
Aggies Are on Fire
New Mexico State’s win streak dates back to Dec. 18. Their most recent loss is Dec. 14 and their only double-digit losses came on Nov. 17 and Nov. 12. In other words, it’s been smooth sailing for quite some time.
As a prospective WAC Tournament bettor, it should encourage you to know that the Aggies didn’t just beat their conference opponents — they decimated them, for the most part.
— NM State MBB (@NMStateMBB) March 6, 2020
NMSU won nine of its 16 WAC games by 14 or more points and finished the season with four consecutive double-digit wins. The Aggies did have a couple close calls (a two-point win over Utah Valley and a three-point win over UMKC, for example), but nobody’s perfect, right?
Actually, by WAC standards, New Mexico State is perfect.
NMSU’s Biggest Competition Is Sitting This One Out
There are nine teams in the WAC, but only eight in the conference tournament. And that helps NMSU even more.
— CBU Men's Basketball (@CBUmbb) March 3, 2020
California Baptist, which is in its second season transitioning to NCAA Division I basketball, is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament. And it just so happens that the Lancers had the second-best conference record (10-6) and may have had the best chance at upsetting NMSU.
Then again, the Aggies won both matchups with Cal Baptist by a combined 48 points this year…so maybe not.
Cause for Concern
In an effort to see this from both sides, here’s a concern about NMSU: they aren’t really battle-tested.
The Aggies have faced only two KenPom top-100 teams all season. They got trounced by Arizona in November (a 30-point loss) and they edged out Mississippi State in December (a six-point win).
No. 1️⃣9️⃣ for a reason. 👏@niccolomannion, @ZekeNnaji_Hoopz and @jemarlbakerjr can’t be stopped. Their 5️⃣0️⃣ combined points led Arizona to a 83 – 53 victory over New Mexico State. pic.twitter.com/QRdBGPtPxE
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 17, 2019
None of their WAC opponents even rank inside the top-200 on KenPom. So what happens if something goes wrong in the conference tournament? It’s a nit-picky thing, but the Aggies haven’t had a chance to show how they handle situations of adversity.
Don’t Overthink It
Take your risks elsewhere. This is absolutely New Mexico State’s tournament to lose and they deserve every bit of the heavy-favorite odds they’re receiving.
The following highlights of last night's 83-50 win over CBU are rated TV-ATH for scenes of extreme athleticism. They are intended only for fans of dubs, nation-leading winning streaks and @WACsports perfection.
— NM State MBB (@NMStateMBB) March 6, 2020
Dating back to last season, the Aggies have won 34 consecutive WAC games. There’s no such thing as a lock in college basketball, but NMSU is as close as it gets.
Pick: New Mexico State (-220)
SBD’s NCAA conference tournament coverage:
- Opening AAC Tournament Odds Favor Houston at +200
- Opening Big East Tournament Odds Project Chaos Filled Week at MSG
- Colgate Team to Beat in Patriot League Tournament Opening Odds
- America East Tournament Opening Odds Favor Vermont by a Huge Margin
- 2020 MEAC Tournament Opening Odds
- SEC Tournament Opening Odds List Kentucky as +150 Favorite; Auburn +275
- Florida State Favored in ACC Tournament Opening Odds; Duke +200, Louisville +275
- Texas State Favored in Sun Belt Conference Tournament Opening Odds
- MAC Tournament Opening Odds Favor Akron at +145; Ball State at +360
Let's have fun and keep it civil.