Mar 9, 2014 9:08 PM by Greg Smith
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Regular-season champion San Diego State enters the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championship as the No. 1 seed for the third time in the league's 15-year history. The Aztecs captured their fourth MW regular-season title, including their second outright, with a 16-2 record this year.
New Mexico finished second in the standings and earned the No. 2 seed. Nevada finished tied for third with UNLV and won the head-to-head tiebreaker with a regular-season sweep of the Runnin' Rebels to capture the No. 3 seed. UNLV will be the No. 4 seed. Wyoming, Boise State and Fresno State tied for fifth place. The Cowboys won the three-way tiebreaker for the No. 5 seed by virtue of their in-season split against top seed San Diego State, while the Broncos claimed the No. 6 seed due to their 1-1 record vs. No. 2 seed New Mexico. Fresno State is the No. 7 seed. Utah State and Colorado State finished tied for eighth place with the Aggies, winning the tiebreaker for the No. 8 seed based on their two-game sweep of the Rams during MW competition. Colorado State will be the No. 9 seed. Air Force and San José State closed out the regular season in 10th and 11th place, respectively, to round out the bracket as the No. 10 and 11 seeds.
The MW Men's Basketball Championship will be held in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center, March 12-15. Action gets underway Wednesday, March 12, with three first-round matchups airing on the Mountain West Network. The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds take place on Thursday, March 13 and Friday, March 14, respectively, and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. The championship game will be broadcast on CBS at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday, March 15.
No. 8 seed Utah State (17-13, 7-11) and No. 9 seed Colorado State (16-15, 7-11) square off at 2 p.m. PT Wednesday in the opening game of the first-round session. This marks the first MW tournament meeting between the newcomer Aggies and Rams. Utah State holds a 54-35 advantage in the series after taking two from Colorado State this season.
No. 7 seed Fresno State (16-15, 9-9) faces No. 10 seed Air Force (12-17, 6-12) in first-round action at 4:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday. The Bulldogs and Falcons are meeting in MW tournament play for the first time. Fresno State swept Air Force in their in-season series to improve to 12-5 all-time against the Falcons.
No. 6 seed Boise State (19-12, 9-9) takes on No. 11 seed and MW newcomer San José State (7-23, 1-17) at 7 p.m. PT in Wednesday's final first-round matchup. The Broncos and Spartans, who will be MW tournament opponents for the first time, met once this season, with Boise State claiming the victory to improve to 23-2 in the overall series.
The top five seeds earned first-round byes into Thursday's quarterfinals. Top-seeded San Diego State (27-3, 16-2) will play the winner of Utah State and Colorado State at Noon PT, followed by a 2:30 p.m. PT meeting between No. 4 seed UNLV (19-12, 10-8) and No. 5 seed Wyoming (18-13, 9-9). Second-seeded New Mexico (24-6, 15-3) awaits a 6 p.m. PT meeting with the winner of the Air Force-Fresno State matchup, while No. 3 seed Nevada (15-16, 10-8) takes on the Boise State-San José State winner at 8:30 p.m. PT.
MW MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
> The MW tournament has produced six different champions in 14 years. UNLV (2000, 2007, 2008), San Diego State (2002, 2006, 2010, 2011) and New Mexico (2005, 2012, 2013) are the only current MW teams to have won multiple titles while Colorado State (2003) has captured one crown.
> The No. 1 seed has won the tournament just three times in 14 years. UNLV entered the inaugural MW 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, while New Mexico captured the 2013 championship. Teams seeded No. 2 through No. 6 have all won tournament championships, while the No. 7 seed is 0-1 in title games.
> A Mountain West regular-season champion or co-champion has made it to the finals of the tournament 10 times in 14 years, winning the championship seven times. San Diego State (2006) and New Mexico (2013) are the only teams to capture both an outright regular-season title and the tournament crown in the same year.
2014 REESE'S MOUNTAIN WEST MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRINGS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12 - FIRST ROUND
2 p.m. PT #8 Utah State vs. #9 Colorado State Mountain West Network
4:30 p.m. PT #7 Fresno State vs. #10 Air Force Mountain West Network
7 p.m. PT #6 Boise State vs. #11 San José State Mountain West Network
THURSDAY, MARCH 13 - QUARTERFINALS
Noon PT #1 San Diego State vs. Utah State/Colorado State Winner CBS Sports Network
2:30 p.m. PT #4 UNLV vs. #5 Wyoming CBS Sports Network
6 p.m. PT #2 New Mexico vs. Fresno State/Air Force Winner CBS Sports Network
8:30 p.m. PT #3 Nevada vs. Boise State/San José State Winner CBS Sports Network
FRIDAY, MARCH 14 - SEMIFINALS
6 p.m. PT SDSU-USU/CSU Winner vs. UNLV/WYO Winner CBS Sports Network
8:30 p.m. PT UNM-FS/AFA Winner vs. NEV-BSU/SJSU Winner CBS Sports Network
SATURDAY, MARCH 15 - CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
3 p.m. PT Championship Game CBS
MW BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET INFORMATION
All-session and single-session tickets for the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championship may be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, online at UNLVTickets.com, by calling 702-739-3267 or 866-388-3267, or by visiting any one of the UNLVTickets outlets in Las Vegas. The Thomas & Mack Center box office will be open Monday, March 10 at 10 a.m. PT.