The Mountain West Tournament moved their league Tournament up a week, in an attempt to avoid some of the cluster of games that comes with Championship Week. That decision paid off immensely as we got one of the best league Tournaments, which was capped off by an incredible Championship game. This league Tournament had everything you could want, there were upsets, there was a Cinderella but at the end of the day, you got the two best teams playing for the title. The league title also was capped off with an incredible game that went down to the wire and had a game-winning three by Sam Merrill to win the game and the Mountain West Tournament.
The first half was pretty much dominated by San Diego State but a 10-2 run at the end of the half cut the Aztecs lead to 8 and kept the Aggies within striking distance. The Aggies continued that play in the second half and took a lead early in the second half. From there it was Sam Merrill takeover time. The 2019 Mountain West Player of the year began to take over but San Diego State forced a tie, and with 40 seconds left, each team had one possession left. San Diego State went to their All-American Malachi Flynn and he missed a long three, Utah State went to their star and he did what he had done all week, drill a tough jumper to carry the Aggies. Merrill finished the game with 27 points, while Neemias Queta had 15. Malachi Flynn led the Aztecs in scoring with 16.
While Utah State may have gotten in even with a loss, the odds of getting in are 100 percent following this win. “I was just trying to get a good look,” Sam Merrill said postgame. “I barely slept last night, partially because the schedule is rough when you play that late-night game Friday night, and it’s a quick turnaround. I only got a few hours of sleep, but I was just hoping that I’d get that opportunity. And I had a vision that I was going to. I just threw it up there — well, I mean, I shot it — and it went in.”
The two teams will get a week off while they wait for the NCAA Tournament Bracket to be revealed. Both teams will be in the NCAA Tournament this year but will have to await the Selection Show to know when and where they are playing.
Bracketology Effect: San Diego State remains a one seed for the time being. While a win would have locked them into a one seed, they still have a one seed resume. There are still some results that could move the Aztecs off the top line but for now, they remain on the one line.
Betting Effect: Utah State +5 Under 130