The top teams in the Mountain West Conference got their one day of rest as the quarterfinals of the conference tournament begins on Thursday.
Utah State rallied from nine points down with just 1:35 left in the game to defeat Colorado State and advance into the quarterfinals to take on the top seeded San Diego St. Aztecs. The Aggies trailed 66-57 and looked well on their way out of the tournament, but the Rams would go ice cold as Utah State closed out the final minut plus with a 14-3 run to win, 73-69. It'll be tough to rally against the Aztecs, who boast a top-10 defense via Ken Pomeroy. In the two meetings between the two this year, San Diego State needed overtime for a victory on the road. At home, it was a bit familiar as the Aztecs held the Rams to just 45 points.
The No. 5 Wyoming Cowboys get the chance to avenge a two point loss to the No. 4 UNLV Rebels in the quarterfinals of the tournament. The teams only met once this season, and it was the worst offensive (or best defensive) effort from both teams as UNLV ground out a 48-46 win. Khem Birch led the Rebels with 10 points in the game and was the only UNLV player to reach double digit points as the team shot 42 percent from the floor. The Cowboys enter the MWC Tournament on a semi-sour note having lost four of their past five games. Wyoming ended the regular season with a win over Colorado State.
Tyler Johnson hit a three pointer to tie the game with a minute left and Alex Davis made his two free throws to push No. 7 Fresno State past No. 10 Air Force, 59-61, into the quarterfinals. The win earned a meeting with No. 2 New Mexico. The Lobos were one of the hottest teams in the MWC before losing a close one on the road to San Diego State to end conference play. Fresno State will need as much offense as it can get against New Mexico. The Lobos ended with three losses in conference, but those three losses were by a combined seven points.
Boise State smoked San Jose State in the first round, jumping out to a 25-0 lead to start the game. The Broncos now get Nevada, a team they had success against in the regular season. After a 74-65 win in Reno, Boise State took the Wolf Pack to double-OT before succumbing in the rematch. With neither team projected to get an at-large bid, this could be a heated game with massive implications.
Thursday's full schedule of games:
No. 1 San Diego State vs. No. 8 Utah State, 3 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
No. 4 UNLV vs. No. 5 Wyoming, 5:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
No. 2 New Mexico vs. No. 7 Fresno State, 9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
No. 3 Nevada vs. No. 6 Boise State, 11:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Here's a link to the entire Mountain West bracket.