Five Potential Bid-Stealers for Mississippi State Basketball Fans to Know

With Mississippi State basketball on the NCAA Tournament bubble entering Champ Week, here are five potential bid-stealers Bulldog fans should be weary of.
Mar 5, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Karl Jones (22) celebrates the win over San
Mar 5, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Karl Jones (22) celebrates the win over San / Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
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UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball

The Mountain West has quickly become one of the best conferences in college basketball, much to the dismay of ACC fans who cannot fathom how a mid-major league could possibly deserve more at-large bids than their "clearly superior" conference...

But it's true. The Mountain West is legitimately good. Six of the league's teams rank within the top-40 of the NET, and those six teams are all in good shape to reach the tournament. Any of those six could certainly win the Mountain West Tournament, and no one would bat an eye.

But there's a bit of a dark horse team that is poised to wreak havoc on Selection Sunday. And truthfully, calling them a dark horse might be disrespectful.

UNLV has been a terror in the Mountain West this season. While their 19-11 record doesn't jump off the page, the Runnin' Rebels have been a giant-slayer in conference play. Of the league's six tournament contenders, UNLV has beaten four with wins over San Diego State, Boise State, New Mexico, and Colorado State. The two they haven't beaten, Nevada and Utah State, they lost to by one possession each.

UNLV finished fourth in the Mountain West regular season standings and won 10 of 12 to close the year. If not for three Quad 4 losses, all of which occurred before February, this team would be a legitimate at-large contender. As it is, they are absolutely capable of winning the conference tournament and reaching the Big Dance the old fashioned way.

And it doesn't hurt that the Mountain West Conference Tournament is being held in their home arena.