|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABThe Semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference will be played tonight, and the Utah State Aggies will be looking to fend off the San Jose State Spartans. The Aggies are attempting to go to the title game for the third time in as many years after earning a bye for the first round and quarterfinals in the tournament.
Utah State is ranked No. 23 in the NCAA, and for good reason. They had an impressive 28-3 overall record, and were 15-1 in the Western Athletic Conference. Utah is heavily, heavily favored tonight, with the sportsbook listing them as the 14 point favorites. The total is set at 133. It will be an uphill battle for the Spartans to get the upset.
The Aggies were the second-place finishers last year, losing to New Mexico State in the finals. Although they have played in four of the last five championship games, their only win came in 2009 against Nevada 72-62. This year, they are the first seed in the conference, while San Jose State is the No. 8 seed.
This is the first time the Spartans have ever made it to the semifinals, as well. They are coming off of an upset of No. 4 Idaho on Thursday afternoon, going 74-68. Their first round victory over Hawaii 75-74 was another unexpected upset for the Spartans. Their all-time WAC conference record was 2-13 before this year, so they have added another two victories to their overall tourney record.
Utah State has won seven games in a row against San Jose State, including two previous tournament games. Overall, the Aggies lead the series 46-21, so it is not surprising they are so heavily favored for tonight's game. Whichever team comes out on top tonight will play in the title game against the winner of the New Mexico State-Boise State matchup. The championship game will be played on Saturday.