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Final: Air Force 74, Colorado State; a rematch in Vegas?

Published: February 26, 2011, 10:45 pm, by admin

Let’s revisit Air Force’s conference tournament seeding scenarios, which didn’t seem so hot after a loss at Wyoming. All of a sudden, getting the preferred matchup, against Colorado State, isn’t so outrageous.

First of all, barring a very odd turn of events (like Wyoming going 2-1 or 3-0 against the top three teams in the league to finish the season), Air Force won’t be in the play-in game on the first day of the Mountain West tournament.

In its first game, Air Force obviously does not want to play the second seed, which will probably be San Diego State, or the probable third seed UNLV, which hosts the tournament. With a 2-0 final week, the Falcons are very likely to avoid that scenario.

First, Air Force gets TCU, which is 1-14 in conference play. If the Falcons win that, Saturday’s regular-season finale against New Mexico could be for the fifth seed, which likely means a first-round date against Colorado State.

New Mexico is ahead of Air Force by a game in the standings, and would win the tiebreaker against the Falcons because it has a better win, against BYU. But the Lobos play at BYU on Wednesday. If Air Force wins on Wednesday and New Mexico loses, both teams would be 6-9 in conference play. Utah also has six conference wins, but it plays at Colorado State and against UNLV in the final week. If the Utes lose at least one of those games, Air Force has the tiebreaker based on a head-to-head sweep.

So, barring some wild upsets on Wednesday, Air Force should get the fifth seed with a win at New Mexico on Saturday. Even if Air Force loses that game, it would move up one spot (and avoid a likely conference tournament opener against the Aztecs) with a win in the final week and two Utah losses.