I’m using my ratings and Bill James’ log5 formula to estimate the chances of each participating team advancing to a particular round of its conference tournament.

Mountain West Conference
Location: UNLV
Dates: March 12-15
Chance of bid thief: 29 percent
Current kPOY: Xavier Thames, San Diego State


                Qtrs  Semis  Final  Champ
 1 San Diego St. 100   82.1   58.0   36.5
 2 New Mexico    100   81.4   62.1   34.6
 4 UNLV          100   73.7   29.9   14.6
 6 Boise St.    89.3   57.3   19.7    6.3
 3 Nevada        100   40.8    9.5    2.2
 7 Fresno St.   78.6   17.1    8.2    2.1
 5 Wyoming       100   26.3    6.6    2.1
 8 Utah St.     53.6   10.1    3.2    1.0
 9 Colorado St. 46.4    7.8    2.3    0.6
10 Air Force    21.4    1.5    0.3    0.03
11 San Jose St. 10.7    1.9    0.1    0.009

It looks like the Mountain West has the highest potential for bid thievery among conferences. Most of the chances reside with the host, UNLV, as well as Boise State, whose 9-9 regular season has to be regarded as disappointing given all that they returned from a team that made the NCAA tournament a season ago. Boise is still dangerous, though, and it doesn’t hurt that the bracket allows the Broncos to avoid an early confrontation with UNLV. They will also draw an unusually weak three-seed in Nevada should they manage to beat 1-17 San Jose State in opening round play on Wednesday.

I’m sure most are anticipating a third matchup between San Diego State and New Mexico in the title game. They were obviously the two best teams in the conference. But there’s only a 36 percent chance of that taking place according to these calculations. Oddly, the Lobos have a better chance of getting to the final game, but the Aztecs have a better chance of winning the automatic bid. This is all explained by the UNLV home game factor.