Before that matchup can even take place, fellow bubble team Colorado State takes on New Mexico in the four-five matchup. New Mexico is much further off the bubble then Colorado State as the Lobos have lost to Utah twice and to Wyoming but they have two high-quality wins over BYU, and that is what Colorado State is lacking. Even with those two good wins for New Mexico they most likely will need to win the Mountain West tournament to get into the NCAA tournament. Colorado State has a solid top-50 RPI, but lack the quality wins that the Lobos have. However, the Rams position in the tournament is better then the Lobos as the Rams are one of the last eight teams out and if they make it to the Mountain West finals they should be in the tournament.
The other side of the bracket should feature the UNLV Rebels and the San Diego St. Aztecs in the semifinals, and even though the Aztecs swept the season series against UNLV this potential game will be on the home court of UNLV. The Rebels have been to the conference tournament titles six out of the seven times it has been played on their home court -- in 2001 UNLV was ineligible for the conference tournament -- which leads to some feeling that UNLV has an unfair advantage by hosting the conference tournament.
The way the bracket is laid out it is possible to see both San Diego State and BYU not in the conference finals, and if UNLV slips up in the finals then a fourth team could be in the NCAA tournament from the Mountain West.