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Mountain West Tournament

Of all the college basketball conferences who would lay claim to being the seventh major, the Mountain West can make the best case with four very good teams at the top of this week’s tournament bracket.

That foursome will play in Las Vegas on Thursday and the Mountain West tournament odds offer an interesting glimpse into how many teams this conference will send to the Dance. First up, the 8-seed meets the 9-seed in Wednesday’s first-round matchup, the winner to face the No. 1 New Mexico Lobos in the quarterfinals.

No. 8 Wyoming vs. No. 9 Air Force (5:00 p.m ET)

The MWC includes nine members, and at the bottom of the conference are two 20-loss teams in the Cowboys (10-20 SU, 13-11 ATS) and Falcons (9-20 SU, 9-13 ATS). The Cowboys were 2-point opening odds favorites at Bovada with a total of 119.5. These two clubs split a pair of games home and away this year, SU and ATS. UNDER is a combined 27-15-1 on the season.

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No. 4 San Diego State vs. No. 5 Colorado State (5:30 p.m. ET)

There’s a big difference in talent between the Aztecs (22-8 SU, 15-12 ATS) and everyone below them in the standings, including the Rams (16-14 SU, 16-12 ATS). The Aztecs handily won both their meetings this year SU and ATS and finished the year on a 7-3 ATS rampage.

No. 2 Brigham Young vs. No. 7 Texas Christian (9:00 p.m. ET)

According to Ken Pomeroy, the Cougars (28-4 SU, 18-11 ATS) are the most efficient team in the Mountain West and No. 5 in all of Division I. The Horned Frogs (13-18 SU, 10-18 ATS) were the least profitable team in the MWC and lost 107-77 at Brigham Young (-10.5) in the regular-season finale.

No. 3 UNLV vs. No. 6 Utah (11:30 p.m. ET)

Injuries tend to be downplayed in college hoops, but the Rebels (23-7 SU, 18-10 ATS) can use the added depth provided by guard Derrick Jasper in his expected return to the lineup against Utah (14-16 SU, 12-14-1 ATS). The Utes have already scored a pair of upsets over UNLV at +11.5 (away) and +4 (home).