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Colorado State Vs. UNLV: Conference Seeding Is On The Line

The Colorado St. Rams are projected to be in the NCAA Tournament's First Four game against the Kansas State Wildcats, but that does not mean they can relax since they are still not a guarantee to make the NCAA Tournament. Saturday's game against the UNLV Rebels would go a long way in helping the Rams secure a tournament bid.

This game not only has importance on gaining a NCAA Tournament bid, but the winner in tonight's game most likely would gain the three seed for the Mountain West tournament. Currently, the Rams have a two game lead over the Rebels, but that lead is not safe since the Rams still have to play San Diego State and BYU on the road while the only tough game for UNLV is against New Mexico on the road.


If we assume that Colorado State loses to both San Diego State and BYU, then today's matchup against UNLV essentially is for the third seed. A UNLV win would put the Rebels one game ahead of the Rams with UNLV still having to play a rising New Mexico team. If UNLV loses against New Mexico here is how the tie would be decided per a Mountain West press release:

If two teams tie for a position, and one holds a win-loss advantage during regular season play, that team receives the higher seed. If the two teams split their games during the regular season, each tied team's record shall be compared against the team occupying the highest position in the standings, counting down through the standings until one team gains the advantage, thereby gaining the higher seed. If two teams remain tied after all tie breakers have been exhausted, the last tie-breaker when determining seeds for the Conoco MWC Basketball Championships shall be team RPI, as determined by the most recent NCAA RPI available on Saturday, March 5, 2011.

Here is what the final standings would look like if UNLV loses to New Mexico and Colorado loses to both San Diego State and BYU.

Colorado State UNLV
San Diego State

0-2

0-2
BYU 0-2 0-2
New Mexico 1-1 1-1
Air Force 2-0 2-0
Utah 2-0 2-0

Wyoming

2-0 2-0
TCU 2-0 2-0

If that is the scenario then the third seed would come down to RPI and as of today UNLV is sitting with a RPI of 28 while Colorado State is at 29. So, it would be a close race to see who would have the higher RPI. Since 75 percent of the RPI is based on opponents Colorado State could actually rise even if they do happen to lose to BYU and San Diego State since both of those schools are in the RPI top five.

However, if Colorado State goes out and win this game it would give them a three game lead over UNLV and barring a catastrophic finish by Colorado State they would finish as the three seed in the Mountain West tournament.