No. 5 seed Cowgirls to Meet No. 8 Rams on Tuesday in MWC Tournament

March 8, 2009


2009 Conoco MWC Women's Basketball Championship Bracket

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Utah (20-9, 13-3) enters the 2009 Conoco Mountain West Conference Women's Basketball Championship as the No. 1 seed for the second consecutive year. The Utes and Aztecs (22-6, 13-3) tied for the MWC regular season title, but San Diego State will play as the No. 2 seed due to the tie-breaker. The MWC Championship will be held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on March 10-14.

San Diego State (22-6) tied with Utah for first place in the regular-season standings with a 13-3 mark. According to the tie-breaking procedures, the Aztecs will be the second seed in the championship. Both Utah and San Diego State split their regular-season meetings and have 3-1 records vs. the third- and fourth-place teams (TCU and New Mexico). Utah earned a 4-0 record vs. fifth-place Wyoming and BYU, compared to San Diego State's 3-1 mark against the Cowgirls and Cougars, to break the tie. TCU (20-9, 12-4) finished in third place, while New Mexico (20-9) earned the fourth spot with a 9-7 league record. Wyoming (16-13) and BYU (18-10) tied for the fifth place with 8-8 league marks. Due to the tie-breaking procedures, Wyoming will get the fifth seed. The teams split in the regular season, but the Cowgirls posted a 1-1 mark vs. second-place San Diego State, compared to the Cougars' 0-2 record. UNLV (12-17, 5-11) finished in seventh place in the standings, while Colorado State finished eighth (9-20, 4-12) and Air Force ninth (4-25, 0-16).

All three of the first-round matchups are a repeat from the 2004 MWC Tournament. Tuesday's first-round games begin with defending MWC Tournament champions No. 4 New Mexico and No. 9 Air Force at 2 p.m. PT. The meeting will mark the second contest between the two institutions in the MWC Tournament, with the last game resulting in a 63-50 quarterfinal win for the Lobos on March 10, 2004. New Mexico leads the all-time series, 25-1, including a sweep of this year's series. The Lobos are 17-4 in the MWC Championship, while the Falcons are 1-9.

No. 5 seed Wyoming meets No. 8 Colorado State at 4:30 p.m. MT on Tuesday, March 10. This will be the fifth meeting for the two teams in the MWC Tournament. Colorado State holds a 3-1 all-time record vs. Wyoming in the championship, with the last meeting resulting in a 67-61 Cowgirl win in the quarterfinals on March 10, 2004. The Rams lead the all-time series, 39-36, despite Wyoming sweeping this season's series. The Rams have made an appearance in the championship game once (2001), while the Cowgirls are looking to advance past the semifinals for the first time in league history.

The final game of the first round will pit No. 6 BYU vs. No. 7 UNLV. This will be the fifth meeting between the teams in the MWC Tournament, with the Cougars holding a 3-1 record vs. the Lady Rebels. BYU also controls the all-time series, 23-11, including a 2-0 record this season. The Cougars are 14-8 all-time in the championship, including six appearances in the championship game and one title (2002). UNLV is 6-9 in the MWC Tournament.

TCU will be the No. 3 seed and will receive a bye into the quarterfinal rounds. The Horned Frogs' first game will be played against the winner of the BYU/UNLV game on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. PT. In the team's three years competing in the Mountain West Tournament, the Horned Frogs have advanced to the semifinals twice. TCU holds a 2-3 all-time record in the tournament, earning wins over Wyoming and Air Force. The No. 3 seed is the second-highest for the Frogs after coming in as the No. 2 team last season. Last year, TCU defeated Air Force (60-47) in the first round before falling to San Diego State (69-67) in the semifinals.

The Utes will play as the No. 1 seed for the second consecutive year. Last season, the Utes bowed out of the tournament early, suffering a 60-52 defeat to No. 8 seed Colorado State in the quarterfinals. Utah is guaranteed a bye into the semifinal rounds, with the team's first game being played on Friday, March 13 at Noon PT. Including this year, Utah has been the No. 1 seed five times. As a No. 1 seed, the Utes have reached the title game once. Overall, Utah has won two MWC championships (2000, 2006). Utah is 13-7 all-time in the MWC Tournament.

San Diego State won a share of the MWC regular season title, but will play as the No. 2 seed in the tournament. San Diego State is guaranteed a bye into the semifinal round, as the team will play its first game on Friday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The Aztecs not only earned their first tournament victory last year, but advanced to the finals. The team narrowly missed the championship title, falling to New Mexico, 62-59. The No. 2 seed is San Diego State's highest as a member of the MWC, as the team's previous best was a No. 6 seed in 2008 and 2001. The Aztecs are 2-9 all-time in the MWC Tournament.

MWC Championship Notes
- The MWC Championship has produced four different champions in its nine-year history. New Mexico is the only school to win three consecutive championships (2003-2005) and five overall (2007, 2008), while Utah owns two titles (2000, 2006). Colorado State (2001) and BYU (2002) each have one title apiece.

- The No. 1 seed has won the tournament only three times in the last nine years. New Mexico won the title as the No. 1 seed in 2004 and 2005, while Utah won the championship in 2000 as the top seed. Colorado State (2001), New Mexico (2003) and Utah (2006) won as No. 2 seeds. New Mexico is a perfect 5-0 when reaching the title game, while Utah is 2-3, winning in 2006 after falling to the Lobos in 2004 and 2005.

- Six MWC teams have reached the title game. BYU has made an appearance in the championship game in six of the nine years of the tournament. New Mexico has advanced to the title game five times, while Utah has made four appearances. Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV have each been in the championship game once.

- BYU is the only MWC team to have earned tournament wins over the other eight institutions.

- Last year marked the first tournament where neither BYU nor Utah made an appearance in the title game.

- San Diego State earned its first win in the MWC Tournament last season. The Aztecs not only advanced to the semifinals, but nearly won the the championship before falling, 62-59, to New Mexico.

- In the history of the MWC Tournament, the No. 7 seed has never won a game.

Tuesday, March 10 (all times PT)
2 p.m. First-Round Game No. 4 New Mexico vs. No. 9 Air Force  
4:30 p.m. First-Round Game No. 5 Wyoming vs. No. 8 Colorado State  
7 p.m. First-Round Game No. 6 BYU vs. No. 7 UNLV  
Wednesday, March 11
4:30 p.m. Quarterfinal Game #1 No. 4/No. 9 Winner vs. No. 5/No. 8 Winner
7 p.m. Quarterfinal Game #2 No. 3 TCU vs. No. 6/No. 7 Winner
Friday, March 13
Noon Semifinal Game #1 No. 1 Utah vs. Quarterfinal 1 Winner
2:30 p.m. Semifinal Game #2 No. 2 San Diego State vs. Quarterfinal 2 Winner
Saturday, March 14
1 p.m. Championship Game TBA
All games are Pacific Standard Time