Larry Shyatt is in his fourth year as the head coach of the Wyoming Cowboys and has said he did not expect his team to be where it is right now.
What he meant by that is that he thought it might take longer to build such a competitive team. Shyatt has also said that this year's Cowboys are the best group of guys he has ever been around, and he's been around.
Wyoming came out of its toughest three game stretch of the season just 1-2, with losses coming at New Mexico and at UNLV.
The Pokes closed the set of games with a monumental win, though, at home.
For the first time in the 21st century, the Cowboys defeated a top five team, and did so in impressive fashion; a 68-62 win over #5 San Diego State.
Wyoming lead by as much as 16 points with 8:10 to play and held off a late charge from the Aztecs with a good performance at the line, going 4 for 6 in the final 1:12 of the game.
In honor of the upset of the number 5 team here are the top five reasons the Cowboys will win the Mountain West Tournament:
5. Close Games
The Cowboys have played in 10 games decided by 6 points or less. Forget that Wyoming is 4-6 in those games and remember that in college basketball, if you're in the game late there's always a chance for a win.
4. Nathan Sobey
He is the emotional fire starter for the Cowboys.
Watch Wyoming right before tip-off, when the players huddle up it's Sobey that delivers the pregame fire and brimstone speech.
Sobey averages 7.5 ppg and 2.0 apg and has started all 24 games for Wyoming. His leadership skills, as the only senior starter for the Cowboys will prove most crucial down the stretch.
Wyoming ranks 2nd in the Mountain West and 14th in the Nation in scoring defense at 60.4 ppg. Enough said.
2. Riley Grabau
This junior guard is a durable force for the Cowboys; he leads the team in minutes and the Mountain West in free throw percentage.
92.2% from the line is good enough for 7th best in all of college basketball. Put Grabau on the line late in a game with a lead, forget about it. Oh yeah, he shoots 48.4% from 3 or 24th best in basketball.
1. Wyoming Can Play With Anyone in the Mountain West
They have proven that already. Five conference losses, all by five points or less and four were on the road. That includes two overtime games with New Mexico, at home and in the Pit. San Diego State? No problem. The Cowboys can beat anyone in the Mountain West.
Larry Nance Jr plays the game like a kid in a candy store, if the kids you know play disciplined basketball. 15.7 ppg 8.8 rpg 2.1 bpg
Josh Adams 11.6 ppg, he is an explosive basketball player that can get to the rim at will.
Jerron Granberry, give this man the 6th man of the year award, 23 minutes per game off the bench.