Runnin' Rebels Seeded No. 3 For MW Tournament

March 4, 2012

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -

The 17th-ranked UNLV men’s basketball team defeated Wyoming, 74-63, on Saturday during Senior Night in front of a sold-out crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center to finish the regular season undefeated at home for the first time in 20 years. The Runnin’ Rebels completed the 2011-12 Mountain West campaign in third place, one game out of first, earning the No. 3 seed for the Conoco MW Men’s Basketball Championship, which will be held at the Thomas & Mack Center, Thursday-Saturday, March 8-10.

The Runnin’ Rebels (25-7, 9-5) will face No. 6 seed Wyoming (20-10, 6-8) in the 8:30 p.m. quarterfinal game on Thursday, which will be televised live on both The Mtn. and CBS Sports Network. All seven games of the MW Championship will be broadcast in high definition.

The Runnin’ Rebels are 2-0 vs. the Cowboys in MW Tournament play, winning a 2000 semifinal game and a 2005 quarterfinal contest. UNLV holds a league-best 20-8 all-time record in the MW Tournament, while Wyoming is 7-12 overall in MW Tournament games. The Runnin’ Rebels are 29-15 in the overall series with the Cowboys after splitting their two games with Wyoming during the regular season this year.

UNLV is 10-1 all-time in the quarterfinals of the MW Tournament, with its only loss coming in 2009 to San Diego State. The MW Tournament has been held in Las Vegas nine times (2000-03, 2007-11) and UNLV has won the title on three occasions (2000, 2007, 2008). The Runnin’ Rebels have advanced to seven MW Tournament championship games (six in Las Vegas and one in Denver).

No. 21/23 San Diego State enters the MW Tournament as the No. 1 seed for the second time in the league’s 13-year history. The Aztecs finished in a tie with fellow co-champion New Mexico and won the tiebreaker by virtue of their 2-0 record vs. TCU during MW play this season.

SDSU (24-6, 10-4) will face No. 8 seed Boise State (13-16, 3-11) on Thursday at 12 p.m. (The Mtn.), followed by No. 4 seed Colorado State (19-10, 8-6) vs. No. 5 seed TCU (17-13, 7-7) at 2:30 p.m. (The Mtn./CBS Sports Network). No. 2 seed New Mexico (24-6, 10-4) will play No. 7 seed Air Force (13-15, 3-11) at 6 p.m. (The Mtn.)

The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, March 9 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network), while the championship game will be held Saturday, March 10 at 4 p.m. (NBC Sports Network). The winner of the tournament will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

All-session and single-session tickets for the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship are now on sale at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, online at UNLVTickets.com or by calling 702-739-FANS (3267). The Thomas & Mack Center box office will be open Monday, March 5 at 10 a.m.

The MW Tournament has produced six different champions in its 12-year history. UNLV (2000, 2007, 2008) and San Diego State (2002, 2006, 2010, 2011) are the only current MW teams to have won multiple titles, while Colorado State (2003) and New Mexico (2005) have captured one crown apiece.

The No. 1 seed has won the tournament just twice in 12 years. UNLV won the inaugural championship as the top seed in 2000, while San Diego State became the second No. 1 seed to claim the crown in 2006.

Teams seeded No. 2 through No. 6 have all captured tournament championships, while the No. 7 seed is 0-1 in title games. The No. 8 seed has yet to appear in the championship game.

A MW regular-season champion has made it to the finals of the MWC Tournament eight times in 12 years (UNLV in 2000; BYU in 2001, 2007 and 2008; Utah in 2005 and 2009; and San Diego State in 2006 and 2011), winning the championship five times. San Diego State is the only team to win both an outright regular-season title and the tournament crown in the same year (2006).

UNLV has played in the championship game in six of the eight years that the MW Tournament has been held at the Thomas & Mack Center and it was eligible to compete (2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2010) - UNLV was ineligible to compete in the 2001 tournament.

2012 CONOCO MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Thursday, March 8 (Quarterfinals)
12 p.m., No. 1 Seed San Diego State vs. No. 8 Seed Boise State, The Mtn. HD
2:30 p.m., No. 4 Seed Colorado State vs. No. 5 Seed TCU, The Mtn. HD/CBS Sports Network HD
6 p.m., No. 2 Seed New Mexico vs. No. 7 Seed Air Force, The Mtn. HD
8:30 p.m., No. 3 Seed UNLV vs. No. 6 Seed Wyoming, The Mtn. HD/CBS Sports Network HD

Friday, March 9 (Semifinals)
6 p.m., Quarterfinal #1 and #2 Winners, CBS Sports Network HD
8:30 p.m., Quarterfinal #3 and #4 Winners, CBS Sports Network HD

Saturday, March 10
4:00 p.m., Championship Game, NBC Sports Network HD

2012 Conoco MW Basketball Championships Central

2012 Conoco MW Men’s Basketball Championship Bracket