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Western Athletic Conference Tournament Odds, Preview, and Pick

2021 WAC bracket

The 2021 WAC Match bracket

  • The Western Athletic Convention match will start with two quarterfinal video games Thursday, March 11, on the Orleans Enviornment in Las Vegas, Nev.. The championship recreation of the six-team occasion is scheduled for Saturday night time
  • Nos. 1-2 seeds Grand Canyon and Utah Valley, which every received 9 convention video games, acquired byes into the semifinals
  • Third-seed New Mexico State has received seven of the final eight WAC tourneys and reached the finals in all eight

The Western Athletic Convention match will open Thursday, March 11, with the 2 quarterfinal video games of the six-team match on the Orleans Enviornment in Las Vegas, Nevada. The championship recreation is scheduled to be performed Saturday night time (March thirteenth).

Editor’s notice: no sportsbooks had launched pre-tournament futures as of March eighth. The desk under can be up to date if and when WAC Match outrights are posted.

2021 WAC Match Odds

Crew (Seed) Odds
Grand Canyon (1) TBD
Utah Valley (2) TBD
New Mexico State (3) TBD
Cal Baptist (4) TBD
Seattle (5) TBD
UT Rio Grande Valley TBD

Odds unavailable as of March eighth, 2021.

Prime seeds Grand Canyon (15-6, 9-3) and Utah Valley (11-10, 9-4) acquired byes into Friday’s semifinals on this one-bid league. Solely the top-six finishers within the nine-team league certified and one, Chicago State, cancelled the remainder of its season in December due to coronavirus issues.

Due to COVID-19 scheduling points, Grand Canyon and Utah Valley have been declared co-champions of the WAC despite the fact that the Antelopes had a greater profitable proportion. Grand Canyon acquired its first No. 1 match seed since changing into eligible to compete in 2018.

Grand Canyon coach Bryce Drew guided the Antelopes to the highest seed in his first season in this system after changing Phoenix-area legend and former Phoenix Suns participant Dan Majerle.

Drew, in fact, has a particular place in NCAA Match historical past. Drew sank a game-winning 3-pointer to raise No. 13 seed Valparaiso to a last-second. 70-69 victory over No. 4 seed Mississippi within the first spherical of the 1998 tourney, and he had a second-straight 22-point recreation to guide the Crusaders to an 88-83 time beyond regulation victory over Florida State within the second spherical. They misplaced to Rhode Island within the Candy Sixteen.

The Bigs Attain the Prime

Grand Canyon and Utah Valley made it to the highest of the WAC by counting on two of the tallest frontline mixtures in NCAA Division I.

Utah Valley’s 6-foot-11 sophomore middle Fardaws Aimaq, a switch from Mercer, is averaging 14.5 factors per recreation and leads Division I with a 15.1 rebounds-per-game common. He’s second in Division I with 4.3 offensive rebounds per recreation.

Aimaq set and reset the college’s single-game rebounding report this season, with 20 in opposition to Wyoming and 25 in opposition to Dixie State. He’s joined by 6-10 senior Evan Cole, a switch from Georgia Tech. Cole is averaging 11.6 factors and 6.3 rebounds for Mark Madsen’s group.

Aimaq has 14 double-doubles, tied for fifth in Division I.

Grand Canyon is led by senior huge males 7-foot Asbjorn Midtgaard, a switch from Wichita State, and 6-10 Alessandro Lever. They’ve helped the Antelopes maintain opponents to 38.2% capturing, second in Division I.

Midtgaard is averaging 14.6 factors and 10.4 rebounds per recreation whereas Division I with a 71.2 discipline objective proportion. Lever is averaging 14.1 factors and 5.5 rebounds.

Every frontline had its means when the groups break up a two-game collection at Grand Canyon to finish the common season final weekend

The Wolverines acquired 20 factors from Cole and had a 45-32 rebounding benefit of their 59-55 victory Friday. Grand Canyon acquired 31 factors and 20 boards from Midtgaard and Lever and had a 37-27 rebounding edge in a 74-64 victory that clinched the No. 1 seed Saturday.

Midtgaard has double-doubles in six of his final seven video games.

Prime Seeds Have Exterior Threats, Too

Whereas Utah Valley likes to play inside-out, its main scorers are perimeter gamers Jamison Overton and Trey Woodbury.

Overton is averaging 15.9 factors per recreation and is capturing 51.4% from the sector. Woodbury, who had 16 factors within the Wolverines’ Friday victory at Grand Canyon, is averaging 14.7 factors.

Antelopes factors guard Jovan Blacksher is averaging 11.1 factors and 5.1 assists per recreation.

California Baptist and Seattle collapsed within the paint to counter Midtgaard and Lever, and every got here away with a collection break up within the two weeks earlier than the Utah Valley set.

Scheduling for the Committee

Each Grand Canyon and Utah Valley had the NCAA Match choice committee in thoughts with their daring non-conference schedules.

Grand Canyon performed Nevada, Arizona State, San Francisco and Colorado. The Antelopes beat Mountain West Nevada by 10 and misplaced to the opposite three by not more than 10.

Utah Valley made the rounds of the Beehive State early, enjoying BYU, Southern Utah, Utah and Weber State together with neighbor Wyoming, shedding all 5 to account for a 1-5 begin.

Do Not Sleep on New Mexico State

Though this doesn’t seem like a classic New Mexico State group, picks in opposition to the Aggies (10-7, 7-6) at your personal peril. It’s onerous to argue with their latest success in Las Vegas.

The Aggies have made eight straight WAC match finals and have received seven, with a median victory margin of 17.3.  They beat Grand Canyon 89-57 within the 2019 finals and have been the No. 1 seed in 2020 earlier than the match was cancelled.

Gone are the likes of Pascal Siakam and Trevelin Queen ,however the Aggies have received 5 of their final six video games. They break up a house collection with Utah Valley and misplaced two at Grand Canyon within the common season. They’d performed one recreation after a 28-day program pause earlier than the Antelopes’ collection.

The perimeter-first Aggies are averaging 8.5 3-pointers per recreation and have 47 of their final 5. Guard Jabari Rice (13.5) is their main scorer.

Others within the Discipline

Seattle (11-10, 4-5) has the WAC’s two main scorers in 5-10 guard Darrion Trammell and 6-6 wing Riley Grigsby and has break up collection with Grand Canyon and Mew Mexico State. Trammell is averaging 20.6 pints and Grigsby is averaging 18.3. and each are averaging two 3-pointers per recreation.

Cal Baptist (13-9, 6-6), in its first WAC season, is led by 15.7-point scorer Ty Rowell and 10.0 rebounder Gorjok Gak.

Grand Canyon and Utah Valley are the category of the league. Each have been made higher by powerful non-conference video games, however Utah Valley is just a bit extra balanced. As troublesome as it’s to go in opposition to Drew within the postseason …

The decide: Utah Valley (odds TBD)

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Jack Magruder

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