Mountain West Conference (conference rank: 9th)
All games at UNLV.
kPOY: Chandler Hutchinson, Boise State
Regular season champ: Nevada (preseason #114 / 3rd MW, current #57)
Underachiever: UNLV (preseason #179, current #251)
For the second consecutive season, the Mountain West will be a one-bid league so these teams are playing for all the marbles. Nevada is the favorite here and won the regular-season title by a game over Colorado State. The Rams closed strong, winning seven in a row before losing the season-finale at Nevada which decided the regular-season crown.
The most unusual thing about the bracket is that UNLV is the 11th – and last – seed. This is a first for the Rebels, who hadn’t had a losing season since 1996. I suspect this could also be the first time the last seed is hosting a conference tournament. Most conferences have gotten away from hosting their tournaments at a predetermined campus site, but even when the practice was more popular, it would make sense that a school that had the interest and energy to host would also have a halfway decent basketball program.
Of course, the reason the Mountain West tournament is at UNLV has little to do with the historical quality of the Rebels. It’s easily the best choice for it. Vegas is centrally located to the league members, easy to get to, and even if you expect your team to lose its first game, there are other reasons to commit to a few days there.
Qtrs Semis Final Champ 1 Nevada 100 78.9 54.4 34.9 2 Colorado St. 100 67.2 34.1 15.9 3 Boise St. 100 55.1 30.8 14.5 4 Fresno St. 100 56.8 22.7 11.0 6 San Diego St. 74.9 38.7 21.9 10.7 5 New Mexico 100 43.2 14.7 6.1 7 Wyoming 70.3 26.3 9.9 3.3 8 Utah St. 61.7 15.3 6.5 2.5 9 San Jose St. 38.3 5.8 1.7 0.5 11 UNLV 25.1 6.1 1.8 0.4 10 Air Force 29.7 6.5 1.5 0.3