The latest bracketology projections like Utah State, BYU and Utah — and they’re twice as nice for Aggies

Utah State guards Garrison Phelps (2) and Ian Martinez (4) react after their 87-86 win against UNLV during an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Las Vegas.

The latest bracketology projections shine on Utah State, and for good reason — after Saturday’s wild win over UNLV, the Aggies are on a 15-game winning streak and have a pair of Quad 1 victories, with opportunities for more in a strong Mountain West Conference.

Where Utah schools land in ESPN’s bracketology update

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi released his newest bracketology on Tuesday morning, and Utah State has risen another line from a week ago. Now, he has the Aggies tied for the highest seeded team from the state of Utah.

  • Utah State’s projection: up one seed to a No. 6 seed vs. Grand Canyon in the first round, Salt Lake City regional.

  • BYU’s projection: stayed at a No. 6 seed vs. Northwestern in the first round, Pittsburgh regional.

  • Utah’s projection: stayed at a No. 8 seed vs. Seton Hall in the first round, Omaha regional.

It’s notable that the Aggies’ success under first-year coach Danny Sprinkle has Lunardi predicting that Utah State will be playing close to home in the SLC regional, as the Delta Center is hosting the first two rounds this season.

Previously, that designation had largely belonged to BYU, but Utah State is now projected by ESPN to play in its home state.

The Aggies (16-1, 4-0 MWC) are currently ranked No. 20 in the NET rankings and play at New Mexico Tuesday night before wrapping up this week at home against Fresno State.

The Cougars (13-3, 1-2 Big 12), who are No. 5 in the NET rankings, got their first conference win at UCF and play two ranked teams — No. 24 Iowa State and No. 25 Texas Tech — this week.

The Utes (12-5, 3-3 Pac-12), who are No. 24 in the NET rankings, most recently lost at Stanford but host Oregon State and Oregon this week — Utah is unbeaten at home in league play but still searching for its first Pac-12 road win.

Weber State, after losing two games last week, fell out of ESPN’s bracketology; instead, Eastern Washington is being projected as the Big Sky automatic qualifier.

Where Utah schools land in CBS Sports’ bracketology update

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm also released a new version of his bracketology on Monday, and he also has Utah State, BYU and Utah making the NCAA Tournament.

  • Utah State’s projection: No. 7 seed vs. Northwestern in the first round, Charlotte regional.

  • BYU’s projection: No. 10 seed vs. St. John’s in the first round, Salt Lake City regional.

  • Utah’s projection: No. 8 seed vs. Mississippi State in the first round, Omaha regional.

Palm has Utah State as the highest seed among Utah schools and BYU the lowest, though the Cougars would play near home in this scenario.

There’s an intriguing potential second-round matchup for the Runnin’ Utes in this projection, against No. 1 seed Kansas, who will soon be a conference opponent when Utah joins the Big 12 next year.

Where Utah lands in ESPN’s women’s bracketology

The Utah women continue to be the lone projected NCAA Tournament team from the state.

  • Utah’s projection: stayed as a No. 5 seed vs. Drake in the first round, Tallahassee (Florida) regional.

The Utes (12-5, 2-3 Pac-12) snapped a rare losing streak by blowing past California on Sunday, a strong response after falling in a thriller to Stanford.

This week, Utah will host two of the nation’s best teams, playing No. 6 USC on Friday and No. 5 UCLA on Monday at the Huntsman Center.