The Wyoming Cowboys coming off a 20-11 campaign did not receive an NCAA or NIT bid on Sunday. Instead the Pokes will have to “settle” for a home date in the third tiered CBI tournament against North Dakota State. If there was any single factor that kept Wyoming out of a higher tournament (besides wins) it would have to be strength of schedule. The difficulty of this year’s schedule was not very hard and we knew this would be a problem as I wrote about out last summer when the schedule was released. The Cowboys had the worst strength of schedule in the entire Mountain West finishing the season at the 100 mark out of 344 teams. For reference here are the SOS’s for the Mountain West teams who did earn NCAA bids this season:

New Mexico: 93

SDSU: 70

UNLV: 49

CSU: 8

As you can see New Mexico (the regular season MW champions) had a slightly better strength of schedule than Wyoming but what set them apart from the Cowboys was their 6-3 record against teams in the top 50 of the RPI. Wyoming only had a 2-7 record against the top 50 in the RPI. Wyoming will have to improve the schedule in future seasons as the talent on the roster grows to have a shot at earning NCAA bids. Coach Shyatt did the right thing though this year in building a schedule were the Cowboys could win games. The program was very much down after the dismissal of Schroyer and the Cowboys needed a boost in confidence. Now it’s time to build on the foundation that has been set this season and that process starts Wednesday night in the CBI.

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