March 8, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
BYU enters the 2008 Phillips 66 Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship as the No. 1 seed for the second consecutive year. UNLV finished two games back of the Cougars in second place and earns the No. 2 seed. New Mexico captures the No. 3 seed following a third-place finish in the standings, while San Diego State ended regular-season league play in fourth place and will claim the No. 4 seed. The MWC Championship will be held in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center, March 12-15. First-round action takes place Wednesday, March 12 with quarterfinals on Thursday, March 13, semifinals on Friday, March 14 and the championship on Saturday, March 15 at 4 p.m. PT.
The Cougars (25-6, 14-2), who became the first team to win back-to-back outright Mountain West regular-season titles, will face the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between No. 8 seed Wyoming (12-17, 5-11) and No. 9 seed Colorado State (6-24, 0-16) on Thursday at 12 noon (PT) on The Mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network. Wyoming leads the all-time series vs. Colorado State, 125-83, including a sweep in the season series, and will be meeting the Rams in MWC Tournament play for the third time. The Cowboys are 6-8 all-time in the MWC Tournament, while the Rams are 6-7. BYU, which holds a 9-7 record in MWC Tournament contests, swept Wyoming and Colorado State this season.
No. 4 seed San Diego State (19-11, 9-7) battles No. 5 seed Air Force (16-13, 8-8) in the 2:30 p.m. PT quarterfinal game Thursday on The Mtn. The Aztecs are 7-6 in the MWC Tournament and will face off against the Falcons, who are 0-8 in tournament action, for the second time, with both meetings coming in quarterfinal play. San Diego State split the series with Air Force this season and holds a 39-20 lead in the all-time series.
No. 2 seed UNLV (23-7, 12-4) takes on No. 7 seed TCU (14-15, 6-10) in the 6 p.m. PT quarterfinal, which will be simulcast on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) and The Mtn. The Runnin' Rebels, a league-best 14-5 all-time in the MWC Tournament, lead the all-time series 10-1 after sweeping the Horned Frogs this season. TCU won its first MWC Tournament game last year and is 1-2 overall. This year marks the first meeting between UNLV and TCU in tournament action. The seventh seed is the highest for the Frogs since entering the league prior to the 2005-06 season, while the Rebels are the No. 2 seed for the second straight year.
No. 3 seed New Mexico (24-7, 11-5) faces No. 6 seed Utah (16-13, 7-9) in the 8:30 p.m. PT quarterfinal game Thursday, which will be simulcast on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) and The Mtn. This year marks the first rematch between the Lobos and Utes in MWC Tournament play since New Mexico beat Utah for the championship in 2005. Overall, the Lobos own a 2-0 mark vs. the Utes in tournament play. New Mexico is 5-7 all-time in the MWC Tournament, while Utah is 10-7 overall in tournament play. The Utes lead the series, 76-45, after the Lobos swept both meetings this season. New Mexico's No. 3 seed is its highest since winning the 2005 MWC Tournament crown as a No. 2 seed.
MWC BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET INFORMATION
All session and single session tickets for the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship are now on sale at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, online at www.UNLVTickets.com or by calling 1-866-388-3267. The Thomas & Mack Center box office will be open Monday, March 10 at 10 a.m. PT.
MWC MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
The MWC Championship has produced six different champions in its eight-year history. San Diego State (2002, 2006) and UNLV (2000, 2007) are the only teams to have won multiple titles, followed by BYU (2001), Colorado State (2003), Utah (2004) and New Mexico (2005) with one apiece.
The No. 1 seed has won the tournament just twice in seven years. UNLV entered the inaugural MWC Tournament as the top seed in 2000 and won the title. In 2006, San Diego State became the second No. 1 seed to claim the crown.
The No. 2 seed (BYU, New Mexico, UNLV), No. 3 seed (Utah), No. 5 seed (San Diego State) and No. 6 seed (Colorado State) have captured tournament championships, while the No. 4 seed is 0-3 and the No. 7 seed is 0-1 in title games. The No. 8 seed and No. 9 seeds have yet to appear in the championship game.
The MWC regular-season champion has made it to the finals of the MWC tournament five times in eight years (UNLV in 2000, BYU in 2001 and 2007, Utah in 2005 and San Diego State in 2006), winning the championship three times. San Diego State is the only team to win both an outright regular-season title and the tournament crown in the same year.