2 levels are expected in the Top-10 conference

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The Mountain West Conference sent two teams to the NCAA Tournament last season, with San Diego State a 6-seed and Utah State receiving a combined bid as an 11-seed.

Despite Mountain West being a top-10 conference, the league has not experienced much success once they entered the NCAA Tournament. The teams have an overall record of 22-51 when they extend their seasons in March.

This year, there are two levels that separate the teams in Mountain West: the graduates and the pretenders.

The competitors

Overall record 2020-21 23-5
League record 2020-21 14-3
ATS 14-13

The Aztecs won 14 games in a row (along with the Mountain West Tournament) en route to the NCAA Tournament last year. But the streak ended there when the Syracuse zone finally judged San Diego State’s post-season plans in the first round.

The program lost its top three scorers in Matt Mitchell, Jordan Schakel and Terrell Gomez from last year’s 23-5 team.

This does not mean, however, that this list is not filled with recurring talents, as the starting lineup appears to consist of five seniors.

Cal transfer Matt Bradley will be the primary offensive focus and will have an immediate impact for the Aztecs.

San Diego State leaned on its defense last year when it ranked 21st nationally in efficiency, according to KenPom.

The unit allowed only 0.89 points per. games in Mountain West games and is likely to recreate those numbers with 6-foot-10 Nathan Mensah returning to his senior season. The attacker had an average of 1.4 blocks per. fight and is one of the best rim protectors in the country.

Overall record 2020-21 20-8
League record 2020-21 14-4
ATS 13-12-1

Colorado State has proven to be the trendy choice to win the conference as it returns everyone from a list that went 14-4 last season.

The Rams are led by David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens’ one-two strokes.

Roddy averaged 15.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game last season and plays much larger than his 6-foot-5 frame.

Stevens was a shift guard, making 15.3 points, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Kendle Moore complements these two as the team’s top defender and outside shooter. He averaged 10.4 points per game in 2020-21.

The Rams’ attack was dominant, averaging 74 points per game. battle while leading Mountain West in offensive efficiency.

With all the pieces left, they are one of the favorites to win the conference.

Overall record 2020-21 16-10
League record 2020-21 10-7
ATS 19-6

Steve Alford returns for his second year with Wolf Pack after being a cash cow for bettors last year. Nevada finished 19-6 against the spread, covering the figure 76% of the time.

Wolf Pack returns their entire starting lineup from last season, including two of the top scorers at the conference at Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge.

Sherfield is the league’s Preseason Player of the Year after averaging 18.6 points and 6.1 assists per game last year in Alford’s pick-and-roll offense. His game raised the game at Cambridge, which put up 16.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Wolf Pack owns one of their most talented lists in recent years and is a real threat to win Mountain West this season.

Overall record 2020-21 19-9
League record 2020-21 14-6
ATS 16-10-1

The Derrick Alston Jr. era is officially over for Broncos fans after he was drafted as the 33rd overall in the NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. Alston Jr. had an average of 17 points, four rebounds and two assists per game last season.

The Broncos return a starting lineup of all seniors, all of whom had an average of between 8-12 points per game. match in 2020-21.

But they are still looking for someone who can show up as the goal scorer when they need a bucket late in the matches. Abu Kigab and Emmanuel Akot are the two best options for the team at the moment.

After starting last season 13-1, Boise State limped to the finish line and won five of its last 14 competitions.

Coach Leon Rice has surpassed the 20 wins in seven of his nine seasons with Boise State. If he’s there, the Broncos will always be a challenger.

Overall record 2020-21 20-9
League record 2020-21 15-4
ATS 13-10

Utah State lost its head coach Craig Smith along with its dominant rim protector in Neemias Queta during the offseason.

The Aggies are recharging through the hiring of Ryan Odom of UMBC, who brings with him two of his top players in RJ Eytle-Rock and Brandon Horvath.

Odom is one of the nation’s best basketball brains and one of the strongest supporters of analysis in basketball. He returns three starters from a team that went to dance last year, adding another guard in Utah transfer Rylan Jones.

It can be an uphill challenge for Odom to recreate the success of last year’s team, but you can not count Aggies off because they bring back a lot of experience.

mountain west conference-2021-college basketball-betting-preview
Photo by Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

The pretenders

UNLV and Fresno State are ready to show improvements from last season and will not be the easiest outs in conference play.

The rebels are lucky to have Bryce Hamilton back, and surround him with an attack of transfers. But with a new head coach and so many new pieces, they are still on the outside looking inward.

Fresno State is stuck in the middle of the conference. Last season, the Bulldogs went 9-2 against pretenders and only 1-10 when they matched up against the five candidates mentioned above.

Wyoming, New Mexico, San Jose State and the Air Force are the lightweights of the conference, which will be a very small threat to any of the top teams.

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