Is Mountain West Basketball at a National Turning Point?
Lets be honest, it's frustrating when some conferences send 7 and 8 teams to the NCAA basketball tournament while other conference's are limited to just one.
If this years tournament has taught us anything it's anything can happen, anybody can be beaten and the regular season has to mean something.
Take the Mountain West where Nevada, San Diego State, Boise State were all worthy of NCAA consideration but the concern was only the post season tournament champion would advance.
Fortunately the Nevada Wolfpack built such a strong regular season resume that when they lost in the Mountain West title game the NCAA committee had no choice but to make a spot for them in the tournament along with post season winner San Diego State.
The Aztecs came up just short in the first round but Nevada posted a pair of wins and tomorrow night will be part of the Sweet 16 facing the Cinderella team of the tournament Loyola of Chicago. The Ramblers and Pack collide at 5:07 p.m. in Atlanta.
You have to be confident in Nevada's chances seeing as Boise State crushed Loyola in the regular season and the Pack haven't lost to BSU in two years. If nothing else Nevada should not be intimidated by the Ramblers
.Then there is Gonzaga. they too are in the Sweet 16 and at least thinking about becoming a member of the Mountain West next year! The Zag's are a perennial tournament team and their flight to the Mountain West, if it becomes reality, would shake up west coast basketball. Gonzaga plays Florida State Thursday at 8 p.m.
For fun, lets pretend Gonzaga is already in the Mountain West. That would mean the conference has two sweet 16 teams to none for the PAC-12. Yikes, that's a major switch in West coast basketball.
I know it hasn't happened yet but if it does and if BYU joins the Mountain West in basketball, following Gonzaga from the WCC, (that's just a rumor) the entire power structure of Western basketball would shift.
Nevada's run deep into the tournament and Gonzaga's flirting with the Mountain West has certainly set the table for some interesting water cooler discussions in April when the real basketball madness could well begin.