This is the time of year when everyone is a bracket expert and everyone will be trying to find Cinderella. There’s one every year and this year will be no different. Since as of this writing we don’t know all the teams and matchups, but there’s a team that nobody will want to play that’s my early team that won’t turn into a pumpkin right away.
The Utah State Aggies. They’re not a team on too many radars, and that’s understandable. They play in the Mountain West Conference which was dominated on the court and in the media by San Diego State all season. Until the Conference Tournament.
For starters the Aggies can draw on experience, which they didn’t have last year, when as a #8 seed they were trounced early by Washington. Before Conference play started they beat LSU and Florida, so not only do they have good wins, but they’ve played a strong schedule.
The Aggies’ tempo is in the middle somewhere so they can matchup with a quick or a slow team. They’re a superior free throw shooting team that just doesn’t beat themselves, and most importantly they are the 10th biggest team in the nation.
Sam Merrill can light it up from behind the arc, and he’s a nightmare at 6’5” as a point guard. Four of their five starters shoot over 53% from the floor, so they’re super balanced and not a team that rely on any one player that an opposing team can just take out of the game.
They’re currently projected as a #10 seed, which I think is low, but that will keep the attention off of them even more. I know that the ESPN bracketology isn’t always correct, but they’ve got them matched up with WVU in the first round. If that’s the case, Utah State will advance and I will not be one bit surprised if they’re playing in week two.