2020 Mountain West MBB Tournament: First Round Preview

2020 Mountain West MBB Tournament: First Round Preview

Isabel Gonzalez @cisabelg It's finally March, which means it's time to reset and head into tournament mode. The first round of the Mountain Wes

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Isabel Gonzalez
@cisabelg

It’s finally March, which means it’s time to reset and head into tournament mode.

The first round of the Mountain West Men’s Basketball Tournament, happening at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev., is scheduled for Wednesday March 4. Six teams are competing to make it into the quarterfinals. Here is a quick look at the matchups.

All games for day 1 will be available to watch through the Mountain West Network.

Game 1 (12pm PT): No.8 Fresno State Bulldogs vs No. 9 Air Force Falcons

The winner of this game will have to face no. 1 San Diego State on Thursday for the quarterfinals.

The Bulldogs swept the Falcons this season 
79-68 win on Jan. 28 in Colorado
71-62 win on Feb. 19 in California

Fresno State (11-18, 7-11 MW)

  • 4-11 record when not playing at home
  • Averaging 69.1 ppg, allowing 68.7 ppg
  • Coming off a 63-55 victory over Wyoming at home
  • Three players scoring in double digits: Orlando Robinson (12.5ppg), New Williams (11.5 ppg), Nate Grimes (11.4 ppg)
  • Name Grimes leads the conference in blocks (1.5 per game)

Air Force (11-19, 5 -13 MW)

  • 3-12 record when not playing at home
  • Averaging 73.4 ppg, allowing 74.8 ppg
  • Coming off a 74-87 loss to Colorado State on the road
  • Three players scoring in double digits: Scottie Lavelle (15.8 ppg), Ryan Swan (12.7 ppg), AJ Walker (10.5)
  • Scottie Lavelle has the best field goal percentage in the MW (46.2%)

Game 2 (2:30pm PT): No. 7 New Mexico Lobos vs No. 10 San Jose State Spartans

The winner of this game is taking on the No. 2 Utah State Aggies on Thursday.

The teams split the series this season. The Spartans won 88-85 in California on Jan. 1, but the Lobos bounce back stronger on Jan. 21 with a 86-59 victory in New Mexico. 

New Mexico (18-13, 7-11 MW)

  • 3-10 record when playing away from home
  • Averaging 76.8 ppg, allowing 75.5 ppg
  • Coming off a 66-64 upset over Utah State, this win snapped a five-game losing streak
  • Four active players scoring in double digits: JaQuan Lyle(15.0 ppg), Corey Manigault (12.1 ppg), Vance Jackson (10.6 ppg), Zane Martin (10.5 ppg).
  • The Lobos lead the conference in steals (8.03 per game)

San Jose State (7-23, 3-15 MW)

  • 1-13 record when playing away from home
  • Worst margin in the conference (-11.4) and worst defense. The Spartans average 70.0 ppg and allow 81.5 ppg.
  • Coming off a 69-92 loss to UNLV at home, currently on a nine-game losing streak
  • Two players scoring in double digits: Seneca Knight (16.9 ppg), Richard Washington (10.4 ppg)

Game 3 (5pm PT): No. 6 Colorado State Rams vs No. 11 Wyoming Cowboys

The winner of this game is taking on the No. 3 Nevada Wolf Pack on Thursday.

The Rams swept the Cowboys this season
72-61 win at home on Jan. 4
77-70 win on the road on Feb. 15

Colorado State (20-11, 11-7 MW)

  • 8-7 record when playing away from home
  • Averaging 75.5 ppg, allowing 71.8 pgg
  • Coming off a  87-74 win against Air Force at home
  • Four players scoring in double digits: Isaiah Stevens (13.0 ppg), Nico Carvacho (12.6 ppg), David Roddy (11.7 ppg), Adam Thistlewood (10.3 ppg)
  • Colorado State has the best field goal percentage (47.2%) in the MW
  • Nico Carvacho leads in rebounding (10.6)

Wyoming (7-23, 2-16 MW)

  • 3-10 record when playing away from home
  • Averaging 61.1 ppg, allowing 69.1 ppg
  • Coming in with back-to-back losses, the latest one was a 63-55 loss to Fresno State
  • Two players scoring in double digits: Hunter Maldonado (16.4 ppg) Jake Hendrick (10.1 ppg)
  • Lowest scoring offense in the conference (61.1 ppg)

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