The San Diego State Aztecs are back at the top of the Mountain West Conference, winning the regular season title for the third straight season. Veteran head coach Steve Fisher has his team back in the tournament in which they reached the title game last season, only to lose to Wyoming. This season, they carry a 16-2 conference mark into the tournament, only dropping games to Fresno State and Boise State (the respective second and third seeds for this tournament) in very tight affairs. They could face last year's tournament nemesis, Wyoming, in the second round if the Cowboys knock off No. 9 Utah State in the first game of the tournament.
Fresno State and Boise State had solid years themselves, not only knocking off the eventual champion once each but also positioning themselves well for a run through the MWC tournament that could result in a potential NCAA Tournament auto bid. New Mexico and Nevada both had decent years with 10-8 records, while most of the league, starting with No. 6 seed Colorado State, floundered below .500 for the season.
Every Mountain West team qualifies for the tournament, but the top five teams (San Diego State, Fresno State, Boise State, New Mexico and Nevada) get a first-round bye. In the quarterfinals, top-seeded San Diego State will face the winner of the No. 8/9 matchup between Wyoming and Utah State; No 2 Fresno State will face the winner of No. 7 UNLV vs. No. 10 Air Force; No. 3 Boise State will get the winner of No. 6 Colorado State and No. 11 San Jose State; and the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds (New Mexico and Nevada) will play each other.
1. San Diego State
2. Fresno State
3. Boise State
4. New Mexico
6. Colorado State
9. Utah State
10. Air Force
11. San Jose State
Schedule and Results (all times Eastern)
Wednesday, March 9 (First Round)
Game 1: No. 9 Utah State 88, No. 8 Wyoming 70
Game 2: No. 7 UNLV 108, 10 Air Force 102 (3 OT)
Game 3: No. 6 Colorado State 80, No. 11 San Jose State 61
Thursday, March 10 (Quarterfinals)
Game 4: No. 1 San Diego State 71, No. 9 Utah State 65
Game 5: No. 5 Nevada 63, No. 4 New Mexico 62
Game 6: No. 2 Fresno State 95, No. 7 UNLV 82
Game 7: No. 6 Colorado State 88, No. 3 Boise State 81
Friday, March 11 (Semifinals)
Game 8: No. 1 San Diego State 67, No. 5 Nevada 55
Game 9: No. 2 Fresno State 64, No. 6 Colorado State 56
Saturday, March 12 (Championship)
Game 10: No. 2 Fresno State 68, No. 1 San Diego State 63
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