Mountain West Tournament 2014 bracket: SDSU, New Mexico lead the field in Vegas

Jeff Bottari

Will the Aztecs or Lobos cut the nets down in Vegas, or does an underdog rise up and claim the automatic bid to the Big Dance?

The Mountain West Conference Tournament will hit the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas from March 12-15. With a deep field and a great fan turnout expected (as always), we should be in for some terrific action in the desert with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

San Diego State comes in as the No. 1 seed after posting a 16-2 mark against the MWC. The Aztecs are one of the top defensive teams in the country, though their offense tends to struggle at times. Keep an eye on senior guard Xavier Thames, who is one of the top players in the country.

New Mexico is the No. 2 seed after flying under the radar all season long. The Lobos are well-balanced on both sides of the ball and are led by senior forward Cameron Bairstow and his 20 points per game average. It will be interesting to see how NMU responds after choking one away to San Diego State in the regular season finale.

As always, UNLV will be a serious contender with the hometown crowd on its side. The Rebels had a roller coaster season, and they'll be looking for revenge this time around after New Mexico knocked them off in the championship game last year.

Here are the TV times for each round:

Wednesday, 3/12: First Round
Utah State vs. Colorado State, 5 p.m. ET, Mountain West Network
Fresno State vs. Air Force, 7:30 p.m., MWN
Boise State vs. San Jose State, 10 p.m., MWN

Thursday, 3/13: Quarterfinals
San Diego State vs. TBD, 3 p.m., CBS Sports Network
UNLV vs. Wyoming, 5:30 p.m., CBSSN
Nevada vs. TBD, 9 p.m., CBSSN
New Mexico vs. TBD, 11:30 p.m., CBSSN

Friday, 3/14: Semifinals
Semifinal No. 1, 9 p.m., CBSSN
Semifinal No. 2, 11:30 p.m., CBSSN

Saturday, 3/15:
Championship Game, 6 p.m., CBS

Here is the full tournament bracket:

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