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Utah State-Boise State is being billed as ‘the biggest game of the night’ in the country by ESPN

Utah State’s Rollie Worster (24) plays against UNLV in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Las Vegas. The upcoming Utah State-Boise State game is being billed as “the biggest game of the night” in the country by ESPN.
John Locher/Associated Press

Followers of Utah State Aggies and Mountain West Conference basketball understand that the series between the Aggies and Boise State Broncos that begins Wednesday night in Boise has massive implications for how the conference race will shake out, but Wednesday morning, one prominent college basketball observer took things a step further.

Each day in a post on Twitter, ESPN’s chief bracketologist Joe Lunardi breaks down the NCAA Tournament bubble and details some of the matchups for the day that will have the biggest implications on the bubble. On Wednesday, he called the evening’s contest between the Aggies and Broncos “the biggest game of the night.”

Lunardi went on to write, “The winner becomes the conference AQ (automatic qualifier) and the loser falls below the at-large cut line in favor of league-mate Colorado State.”

In Lunardi’s latest bracket he released Tuesday morning, he pegged Utah State as a 12 seed as the automatic qualifier from the MWC with Boise State as an 11 seed and Colorado State as a 12 seed, although both of the latter two teams were among his “first four in.”

On Wednesday in Lunardi’s daily Twitter post, however, Colorado State had moved down to his “first four out (CSU has not played since Feb. 6 and isn’t scheduled to again until Feb. 27 after five straight game postponements/cancellations).”

That illustrates how things can change daily, and just how tight the bubble is around MWC teams, and thus how crucial every game truly is.