Sam Wasson of bleedCRIMSON.net and Travis Mason-Bushman of Vandal Nation are the RTC correspondents for the Western Athletic Conference.
As the WAC enters its final week of regular season play, Utah State has clinched at least a share of the WAC regular season title for the third consecutive season. The navy-clad Aggies earned the share with a 76-39 pasting of Fresno State. New Mexico State takes to the road with a chance to tie for the regular season title as the crimson-clad Aggies will face Nevada and Utah State. At the bottom of the standings it’s three teams — Idaho, Hawai’i and Boise State — fighting for the final two spots in the conference tournament which begins next week.
1) Utah State, 24-6 (13-2)
2) New Mexico State, 19-9 (11-3)
T3) Louisiana Tech, 22-7 (9-5)
T3) Nevada 17-11 (9-5)
5) San Jose State 14-14 (6-8)
6) Fresno State, 14-17 (6-9)
7) Idaho, 13-15 (4-10)
8) Hawai’i, 10-18 (3-11)
9) Boise State, 13-16 (3-11)
Boise State, 13-16 (3-11)
The week’s results: 02/25 W @ Louisiana Tech, 72-59, 02/27 L @ New Mexico State, 95-92
Upcoming games: 03/04 vs. Hawai’i, 03/06 vs. San Jose State
After looking like they were going to be the odd man out of the conference tournament just a week ago, the Broncos have been re-energized by a road split at Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State. BSU pulled off the stunning upset over La. Tech, winning by 13 points, and then nearly pulled off another shocker mounting a huge second half comeback before falling just short by three at New Mexico State. The Broncos can play their way into the tournament as they host Hawai’i and San Jose State to end the regular season. A split by the Broncos could still end their season as Hawai’i would then own the tiebreaker over Boise State and a pair of losses would guarantee their missing the conference tournament.
Fresno State, 14-17 (6-9)
The week’s results: 02/23 W vs. Cal State-Bakersfield, 79-68, 02/27 L @ San Jose State, 72-45, 03/01 L @ Utah State, 76-39
Upcoming games: 03/04 vs. Louisiana Tech
The Bulldogs had a disastrous week of conference play, losing on the road at San Jose State and at Utah State by 27 and 37, respectively. In both games Fresno State was down big at halftime. FSU hosts Louisiana Tech on Senior Night in Fresno but a loss could drop them all the way to the seventh seed in the conference tournament.
Hawai’i, 10-18 (3-11)
The week’s results: 02/26 L vs. Utah State, 61-50, 02/28 W vs. Nevada, 74-63
Upcoming games: 03/04 @ Boise State, 03/06 @ Idaho
The Warriors finally broke through by snapping a nine-game losing streak, eight of those in conference. It couldn’t have come at a better time for Hawaii as their win over Nevada on Saturday came on a tumultuous day that saw the islands threatened by a tsunami. It was coupled with a loss by Boise State at New Mexico State and enabled the Warriors to have a chance to play their way into the WAC tournament in the final week of the regular season. Hawai’i will travel to the mainland to face Boise State and Idaho. UH lost to Idaho and defeated Boise State on the islands in the first meeting but all that matters to the Warriors is winning two games this week and they’re in the conference tournament.
Idaho, 13-15 (4-10)
The week’s results: 02/24 L @ New Mexico State, 74-57, 02/27 L @ Louisiana Tech, 60-49
Upcoming games: 03/04 vs. San Jose State, 03/06 vs. Hawai’i
After looking like they had earned themselves a spot in the conference tournament, the Vandals are in danger of missing it after getting swept on the road at New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech. Combined with stunning victories by Hawai’i vs. Nevada and Boise State at Louisiana Tech, the Vandals have just a one-game lead over the two schools with two games left to play. Idaho will host San Jose State and Hawai’i. The Vandals just need one victory to earn their spot in the conference tournament, however, they would certainly want to win both to ensure they don’t drop to the eighth seed and have to face Utah State or New Mexico State in the first round.
Louisiana Tech, 22-7 (9-5)
The week’s results: 02/25 L vs. Boise State, 72-59, 02/27 W vs. Idaho, 60-49
Upcoming games: 03/04 @ Fresno State, 03/06 @ Nevada
The Bulldogs finish the week on the road visiting Fresno State and Nevada with a chance to lock up the third seed in the conference tournament. Louisiana Tech was stunned by Boise State and dropped into fourth place but they were aided when Hawai’i returned the favor against Nevada to tie things up between the Wolf Pack and Bulldogs.
Nevada 17-11 (9-5)
The week’s results: 02/25 W @ San Jose State, 83-79, 02/28 L @ Hawai’i, 74-63
Upcoming games: 03/04 vs. New Mexico State, 03/06 vs. Louisiana Tech
The Wolf Pack split a pair of road games last week but are assured a top four finish in the conference. Nevada can lock up second place in the league behind Utah State if they can take care of business at home against New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech.
New Mexico State (19-9, 11-3)
The week’s results: 02/24 W vs. Idaho, 74-57, 02/27 W vs. Boise State, 95-92
Upcoming games: 03/04 @ Nevada, 03/06 @ Utah State
New Mexico State took care of business at home last week to set themselves up for one of the biggest road trips they’ve had in a long time. A pair of wins would give the Aggies a share of the regular season title with Utah State and the number one overall seed in the WAC tournament. A split would give them second place in the league but a pair of losses could potentially drop them to the three seed.
San Jose State 14-14 (6-8)
The week’s results: 02/25 L vs. Nevada, 83-79, 02/27 W vs. Fresno State, 72-45
Upcoming games: 03/04 @ Idaho, 03/06 @ Boise State
The Spartans split a pair last week but moved up to fifth place in the league where they’ll look to stay with a pair of games at Idaho and at Boise State. SJSU is looking for their best conference record and finish in over ten seasons. Should the Spartans lose both games they could potentially drop to the seven seed.
Utah State, 24-6 (13-2)
The week’s results: 02/25 W @ Hawai’i, 61-50, 03/01 W vs. Fresno State, 76-39
Upcoming games: 03/06 vs. New Mexico State
The UtAgs clinched at least a share of the WAC’s regular season title for the third consecutive season with a pair of victories over Hawai’i and Fresno State. Utah State will look to win the title outright as they host New Mexico State on Saturday. The crimson Aggies are one of only two losses suffered by Utah State in conference play this season. The UtAgs have already avenged their only other loss when they defeated Louisiana Tech.
- 03/04 – Nevada vs. New Mexico State – 7:00 p.m. PT
- 03/04 – Idaho vs. San Jose State – 7:00 p.m. PT
- 03/04 – Boise State vs. Hawai’i – 7:00 p.m. MT
- 03/04 – Fresno State vs. Louisiana Tech – 7:00 p.m. PT
- 03/06 – Boise State vs. San Jose State – 3:15 p.m. MT
- 03/06 – Idaho vs. Hawai’i – 5:00 p.m. PT
- 03/06 – Utah State vs. New Mexico State – 7:00 p.m.
- 03/06 – Nevada vs. Louisiana Tech – 8:00 p.m. PT