With the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament behind us, Friday's semifinals are all set. It's no surprise that these are the final four teams to play out the tournament. Both the top two seeds, San Diego State and New Mexico, advance along with the fourth-seeded UNLV Runnin' Rebels and sixth seed Boise State Broncos. Before the season, all four of these teams looked to be the best in the conference on paper and now that it is coming to an end, they are the last four standing.
Friday March 14
Time: 9pm est/6pm pst Watch: CBS Sports Network
The top-seeded Aztecs absolutely destroyed the Utah State Aggies in their quarterfinal match-up by a final of 73-39, in a game where the starters were able to get plenty of rest. On the other side of this is the UNLV Runnin' Rebels, who were involved in a hard-fought game against the Wyoming Cowboys where the Rebels only won by four, 71-67.
During the season San Diego State swept UNLV, beating them once at home by 11 and then at UNLV by nine. After a not-so-tough game, the Aztecs will have fresher legs than the Rebels and should be able to move on into the final game.
X-Factor: Winston Shepard is a match-up problem for anyone and always looks to perform well in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Score Prediction: SDSU 77 UNLV 69
No. 2 New Mexico Lobos vs No. 6 Boise State Broncos
Time: 11:30pm est/8:30 pm pst Watch: CBS Sports Network
The New Mexico Lobos are the reigning champions of the Mountain West tournament and are going up against arguably the third best team in the conference. The Boise State Broncos are a good passing team and a great three-point shooting team. The Lobos do have a big advantage down low with Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow. The Broncos run with a lineup primarily of four guards and one big guy down low.
The season series between the two teams was split as each team won their home contest. The Lobos first beat the Broncos in The Pit by the score of 84-75, then lost to the Broncos in Boise 71-70. I predicted that the Lobos would win the tournament in my other article and still feel that way; Lobos will advance to the final game of the tournament.
X-Factor: Cameron Bairstow has been leading this team all season long and will carry them right into the final game of the tournament.
Score Prediction: UNM 68 BSU 62
If these predictions hold true, the final game will feature the top two seeds in the conference with the Mountain West only sending two teams to the big dance, a number that is down from five last year.