March 5, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
On Thursday, the Wyoming Cowboys, the No. 5 seed in this year's Mountain West Conference Tournament, will face the Air Force Falcons, the No. 4 seed, in a game set to tip off at 3:30 p.m., Mountain Time (2:30 p.m., Pacific). The game will be televised live on The Mtn.
Wyoming enters Thursday's game with a 16-14 overall record, 7-9 in conference play. Air Force is 23-7 and 10-6 in the MWC. UW has won three of its last five games of the season. Air Force has lost three straight entering the tournament.
If you feel like you've seen this before, you would be right. For the second consecutive season, and the fourth time in a conference tournament quarterfinal game, the Cowboys and Falcons will meet.
It was just a year ago when the Cowboys, seeded No. 7, upset No. 2 seed Air Force in the Mountain West Quarterfinals by a score of 57-55 in Denver, Colo.
In the 2002 MWC Tournament, Wyoming entered the tournament as the regular-season champion and No. 1 seed, but had to go to overtime to defeat the No. 8 seeded Falcons -- 69-67.
Going back to the days of the old Western Athletic Conference, Wyoming and Air Force also played once in 1986 -- also in the Quarterfinals. That tournament, which was played in Laramie, saw UW defeat Air Force 67-65.
All three previous meetings between the two schools in conference tournaments have been won by Wyoming, and all have been won by two points.
In the first regular-season meeting this year in Laramie, Wyoming lost by two points, 56-58. In that game, Brandon Ewing (15 points), Brad Jones (13 points) and Daaron Brown (8 points) combined for 36 of Wyoming's 56 points.
The last meeting between the Cowboys and Falcons in Colorado Springs saw a rare decisive win by the Falcons, 88-43. But the Cowboys were at a distinct disadvantage as four starters missed that meeting on Feb. 3. Brown missed the game with a sprained ankle. Guards Ewing and Jones, along with forward Joseph Taylor, were forced to miss the game after being suspended for their involvement in a fight against New Mexico on Jan. 30.
The Cowboy Sports Network will broadcast Thursday's game on radio beginning at 3 p.m., Mountain Time (2 p.m., Pacific). See the accompanying tournament bracket for the full schedule of men's games for this year's Mountain West Conference Basketball Championship.