Utah State's fate is just about set for next week in the Mountain West tournament. The Aggies know when and where they'll play - 1 p.m. Wednesday at Thomas & Mack Center - just not yet who the opponent will be.
There exists two possibilities: Wyoming and Colorado State. Here's where they both sit now in the conference, along with Fresno State which is relevant to the discussion:
6. Wyoming (8-9)
7. Fresno State (8-9)
8. Colorado State (7-10)
Wyoming host Colorado State this week for a relatively high-stakes game in the Border War. The loser will play in the No. 8 vs. No. 9 game with Utah State. Because tiebreakers make my head hurt, I had a discussion with Matt Stephens from the Coloradoan about how this would shake out:
If Colorado State wins • The Rams move up to at least No. 7 by virtue of sweeping the Cowboys. Wyoming would drop to No. 8. Colorado State would be No. 6 if Fresno State loses. This would be because of a three-way tie between teams, broken by their head-to-head records with one another. CSU would have gone 3-1 against Fresno State and Wyoming this year. Fresno State went 2-2. Wyoming would drop to No. 8 still, with only a 1-3 record against CSU and FSU. Utah State would play a rubber match with the Cowboys.
If Wyoming wins • The Cowboys stay at No. 6 ahead of Fresno State, no matter what the Bulldogs do this weekend against San Jose State. Wyoming's win over San Diego State gives them the edge here, because they beat the higher-seeded team in the conference. Colorado State drops to the No. 9 seed by virtue of being swept by the Aggies, and Utah State gets to go for the sweep.
So there's your choices: Colorado State, a team the Aggies beat twice. Or Wyoming, a team without its best player. The first-round match-ups look reasonably good for Utah State, and you can watch these teams play at 2 p.m. MT on Root Sports.
Aggies fans should also be aware of another Mountain West game with important implications. At 8 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network, New Mexico and San Diego State will be facing off for the regular season title at Viejas Arena. If Utah State gets out of Wednesday's first round, it would face the No. 1 overall seed - AKA the winner of the Lobos-Aztecs game - on Thursday.
As one might say, Utah State fans should probably cross that bridge when they get there.
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