MWC Tournament Men's Bracket Announced

MWC Tournament Men's Bracket Announced

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by Kim Melcher, Mountain West Conference

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- BYU enters the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship as the No. 1 seed for the first time in league history. UNLV finished one game back of the Cougars in second place and will claim the No. 2 seed. Air Force and San Diego State tied for third in the league standings, but the Aztecs edged the Falcons for the No. 3 seed by virtue of the tie break. The Falcons and the Aztecs split their season series, but San Diego State went 1-1 against BYU while Air Force was swept by the Cougars. The MWC Championship will be held in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center, March 6-10. First-round action begins Tuesday, March 6 with quarterfinals on Thursday, March 8, semifinals on Friday, March 9 and the championship Saturday, March 10 at 4 p.m. PT.

The Cougars (23-7, 13-3), who captured their first outright regular-season conference championship since 1993, will face the winner of Tuesday's first-round game between No. 8 seed TCU (12-16, 4-12) and No. 9 seed New Mexico (15-16, 4-12) on Thursday at 12 p.m. (PT) on The Mtn., the MountainWest Sports Network. New Mexico leads the all-time series vs. TCU, 8-3, including a split in the season series, and will be meeting the Horned Frogs in MWC Tournament play for the first time. The Lobos are 5-6 all-time in the MWC Tournament, while the Horned Frogs are 0-1 after making their inaugural appearance last year. BYU swept New Mexico and TCU this season. Tuesday's first-round game between the Lobos and Horned Frogs will be televised at 7:30 p.m. (PT) on The Mtn.

No. 4 seed Air Force (23-7, 10-6) battles No. 5 seed and 2006 MWC Tournament runner-up Wyoming (21-9, 10-6) in the 2:30 p.m. (PT) quarterfinal game Thursday on The Mtn. The Falcons, 0-7 all-time in the MWC Tournament, meet the Cowboys for the second straight year and third time overall in the quarterfinals, with the 'Pokes winning the previous two meetings by a total of four points. Wyoming, 5-7 in the MWC Tournament, holds a 66-25 lead in the all-time series after Air Force won both games against the Cowboys this season. Seven of the last eight meetings have been decided by five points or less.

No. 2 seed UNLV (25-6, 12-4) takes on No. 7 seed Utah (11-18, 6-10) in the 6 p.m. (PT) quarterfinal on The Mtn. The Rebels, a league-best 11-5 all-time in the MWC Tournament, pulled within a game of the Utes in the all-time series, 18-17, after sweeping both meetings this season. UNLV and Utah have met three times in the semifinals and once in the championship game with each team winning twice. This year marks the first meeting between the teams in the quarterfinals. The seventh seed is the lowest for the Utes in league history, while the Rebels' No. 2 seed is their highest since winning the 2000 MWC Tournament title as the No. 1 seed. Both teams are a perfect 6-0 in the quarterfinals, with Utah holding a 9-6 mark overall in tournament play.

No. 3 seed San Diego State (21-9, 10-6) faces No. 6 seed Colorado State (16-12, 6-10) in the 8:30 p.m. (PT) quarterfinal game Thursday on The Mtn. This marks the second straight year the Aztecs and Rams have met in the MWC Tournament, with San Diego State winning last year's first-ever meeting en route to the 2006 championship. San Diego State is 7-5 all-time in MWC Tournament play, while Colorado State is 5-6 overall in tournament action. The Rams lead the series, 34-22, after the Aztecs swept both meetings this season.

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 or by calling 1-866-388-3267. The Thomas & Mack Center box office will be open Monday, March 5 at 10 a.m. (PT).

MWC BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON PAY-PER-VIEW/TELEVISION All the action from the 2007 Mountain West Conference Basketball Championships will be available live and on-demand through an exclusive, special broadband Pay-Per-View offer. The 16-game package can be purchased for $24.95 through each of the individual MWC school official athletic sites or the MWC Web site, In addition, all sixteen games of the men's and women's tournaments will be televised on The Mtn., CSTV, or VERSUS.

MWC MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES The MWC Championship has produced six different champions in its seven-year history. San Diego State (2002, 2006) is the only team to have won two titles, followed by UNLV (2000), 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. Last year, San Diego State became the second No. 1 seed to claim the crown.

The No. 2 seed (BYU, New Mexico), 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 seeds has yet to appear in the championship game.

The MWC regular-season champion has made it to the finals of the MWC tournament four times in seven years (UNLV 2000, BYU 2001, Utah 2005, San Diego State 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.

2007 MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRINGS Tuesday, March 6 (First-round Game) 7:30 p.m. No. 8 TCU vs. No. 9 New Mexico The Mtn.

Thursday, March 8 -- Quarterfinals 12 p.m. No. 1 BYU vs. 8/9 winner The Mtn. 2:30 p.m. No. 4 Air Force vs. No. 5 Wyoming The Mtn. 6 p.m. No. 2 UNLV vs. No. 7 Utah The Mtn. 8:30 p.m. No. 3 San Diego St vs. No. 6 Colorado St The Mtn.

Friday, March 9 -- Semifinals 6 p.m. Session 1 Winners CSTV 8:30 p.m. Session 2 Winners CSTV

Saturday, March 10 4 p.m. Championship Game VERSUS

**All games are Pacific Time

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