If you've read this blog enough, you might know I've become probably overly reliant on Ken Pomeroy's website, KenPom.com, for statistical metrics for Utah State games and previews. The Utahn is the guy who knows all the numbers or at least created a system that every decent college basketball observer uses to better understand the game.
He doesn't exactly favor Utah State for the upcoming WAC conference tournament, but he did have special recognition for one of America's most injured teams:
A special shout-out goes to Utah State, who also has a much-better-than-Liberty shot here. They lost two of their three best players to season-ending injuries on January 17. Their ranking then was 131. Their ranking now is 109. So quit your complaining next time your team is hit with an injury. The Aggies sucked it up and have performed quite respectably since that catastrophic day.
That's high praise from a guy who doesn't dole out compliments without some numbers to back them up.
From there, however, the odds do fall against Utah State to win the NCAA tournament autobid not unexpected. In the site's WAC tourney odds, KenPom lists the Aggies' odds as 7.8 percent to win it all, fourth-best in the league.
Utah State is favored by the site to win its first game over UT Arlington, given a 63 percent chance of victory. It is worth noting, however, that the site doesn't have a way to account for injuries, so some of USU's uninjured stats factor into the prediction.
Denver is given the best chance of winning it all at 56.3 percent.