Tag:Mountain West Conference
Posted on: March 9, 2011 8:50 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 8:51 pm

Mountain West Conference Tournament Preview

I realize the 1st Round or Pigtail game has already been played, but that doesn't really effect anything.

The Mountain West tournament is wide open this year; I don't believe there is any clear favorite. Any of the top 5 teams are capable of winning the whole thing which should make for some exciting action.

Players to Watch : Everyone knows about Jimmer Fredette who leads the nation in scoring. But there are many other exciting players to watch in the Mountain West:

1. Jimmer Fredette-Leads the nation in scoring; the Cougars are going to need to lean on him if they are going to win the MWC tournament in the absence of Brandon Davies.

2. Kewhi Leonard-Perhaps the best all-around player in the Mountain West; Leonard averages 15 points and 11 rebounds per game. Leonard has huge hands which help him on the glass. Perhaps the one weakness is Leonard's game is when he tries to shoot the 3; Leonard only shoots 26% from 3.

3. Andy Ogide-Haven't been able to see him on TV much this year, but Ogide has impressive numbers and is the lynchpin of the Colorado State offensive attack. A very effective post player, Ogide shoots 59% from the field.

4. Tre'von Willis-The Rebels have improved this season as Willis has gotten healthier. Willis missed 5 games and has been injuried in other games he has played. When he is on though, the Rebels are hard to stop.

5. Dairese Gary-He may not be flashy, but the Senior Lobos guard is all heart and determination. Gary is the Lobos leading score and after getting his first taste of the NCAA Tournament last year, Gary is going to try to put the Lobos on his back and will them into the NCAA Tournament; to do that the Lobos may need to win the conference tournament.

Favorite: San Diego State- BYU may be the #1 seed, beating San Diego State twice in the regular season, but the Cougars have lots of questions surrounding them after the suspension of Brandon Davies. The Aztecs are the defending tournament champions and their depth and athleticism should carry them to the title. If the Aztecs don't get it done though it wouldn't surprise me as the Mountain West has 5 teams capable of winning three games in a row.

Darkhorse: Colorado State- Nobody's talking about the Rams winning this tournament, but the Rams are a bubble team and will be motivated to play well and try to play their way into the NCAA tournament. Ogide is the type of player that the Rams can ride and nobody other than SDSU has the size or depth to stop him.

Team whose Bubble Bursts: New Mexico-The Lobos need to at least make the tournament final to have any chance at the NCAA tournament and may need to win the whole thing. If the Lobos can win the 4/5 matchup with Colorado State they likely get a BYU team they swept in the regular season. I think that's motivation enough for BYU and it's difficult enough to beat a team three times in a season. Add into all of that, the Lobos are 1-3 in the Mountain West tournament under Steve Alford and the odds stack against the talented, but young, Lobos team

Pick: UNLV-Hard to pick against the home team. The Rebels have won 5 in a row and Tre'von Willis is getting his game together. The Rebels haven't been able to beat the Aztecs, their likely semifinal opponent, but they have been close in both games despite shooting extremely poorly. Rebels finally put together a good shooting game against the Aztecs and then beat a tired Jimmer Fredette and BYU in the final.

Posted on: March 14, 2009 10:01 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2009 10:59 pm

"Back" from Vegas; MWC Tournament thoughts

Well I have left Vegas now and am visiting some family in the Great NW. Glad to be back to having Internet access (I wasn't willing to pay $12/day for it at what had to be one of the worst hotels I've ever stayed it).

Despite my team getting bounced early I still had fun in Vegas hanging out with friends. We did a lot of cool things without having to go watch the Lobos play.

Anyways some thoughts about what games I did see in Vegas:

San Diego State looks really impressive: The Aztecs beat UNLV soundly on their home floor, beat BYU (who had swept them earlier in the season) and narrowly lost to Utah. If you are looking for a 10, 11 or 12 (whatever seed they'll get) to pull an upset, this is the team to pick. The Aztecs are finally healthly and have a coach who has plenty of Tournament experience.

Utah is lucky: Luck was a lady for the Utes in Vegas this weekend. They get a last second 3 to beat TCU in the 1st Round, then got Wyoming in the 2nd round (more on that later), and narrowly excaped against SDSU in the finals. Don't get me wrong Utah is a good team, but they are a team which may be upset in the 1st Round of the Tournament.

New Mexico chokes with an NCAA tourney appearance on the line (again): They did it last year in the 3-6 matchup, needing one win at least to get to the tournament and lose to an inferior team. The Lobos live and die by the 3 and went 3-23 (yes you read that right) in the game against Wyoming on Thursday. Wyoming on the other hand shot lights out from 3, hitting over 50%. All I can say is this team is glad that none of the NIT games will be played in the Thomas & Mack, as it seems the Lobos are allergic to the rims in that building.

MWC officiating is horrible: Game of note, New Mexico v. Wyoming. Now don't get me wrong the Lobos lost by their own pathetic performance, but the officiating this game was horrible, on both sides. The game was called fairly evenly, but the referees called EVERY, and I mean EVERY ticky-tack foul in the book. There were over 50 fouls in a game that didn't even go into OT. By comparision the 6OT game between Syracuse-UCONN had 66 fouls. Less than 1 foul per minute compared to over 1.25 fouls per minute in the UNM-Wyoming game. MWC teams are not going to be prepared for the NCAA tournament with this kind of officiating in a conference tournament. In the NCAA tournament they are going to allow teams to play a lot more and the Mountain West teams will not be prepared for the physical play.

Thats all I got for now, I will post my bracketology later tonight after all the games have concluded.


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