MW Men's Basketball Matches League Record with Four NCAA Tournament Bids

March 11, 2012

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A league record-tying four Mountain West teams will participate in the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship with Sunday's bracket announcement. Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV received at-large bids, joining Mountain West tournament champion and automatic qualifier New Mexico in the 68-team field.

The Mountain West is one of four (Big 12, Big Ten, Big East) conferences to have at least 50 percent of its membership included in the Big Dance, and one of seven with four or more teams in the 2012 NCAA tournament.

This year marks the 11th consecutive season, and 12th overall, in which the Mountain West has had at least one NCAA at-large qualifier on Selection Sunday. In 13 years, MW teams have received 33 NCAA bids, including 21 at-large berths.

Mountain WestMountain West in March Madness

  • Four Mountain West teams also participated in the 2010 NCAA tournament. The MW has sent at least three teams to the NCAA tournament three straight years and six times overall in the league's 13-year history.

  • The Mountain West is one of six conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, SEC) to send at least three teams to the NCAA tournament three straight years, as well as two teams in each of the last 11 years.

  • Since 2007, 15 of 17 MW representatives in the NCAA tournament have received a single-digit seed.

New MexicoNo. 5 Seed New Mexico Lobos vs. No. 12 Seed Long Beach State 49ers - West Regional
Thursday, March 15 - Approx. 1:10 p.m. PT
The Rose Garden - Portland, Ore.

New Mexico (27-6) shared the Mountain West regular-season crown with San Diego State and earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after capturing the MW tournament crown with a 68-59 victory over the Aztecs on Saturday. The Lobos, who earned a No. 5 seed in the West Regional, will take on No. 12 seed and Big West tournament champion Long Beach State (25-8) on Thursday, March 15 at approximately 1:10 p.m. PT, at The Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. The outing will be broadcast by TBS. This marks the Lobos' second NCAA tournament appearance in three years and 31st overall.

A Closer Look at UNM

  • New Mexico is 3-2 all-time against Long Beach State. The Lobos won the most recent meeting, a 92-88 overtime decision on Nov. 29, 1986 in Kahalui, Maui.

  • The Mountain West is 8-1 vs. the Big West Conference in 2011-12, including a 1-1 record vs. Long Beach State. San Diego State beat the 49ers (77-73 on Nov. 19) while Boise State dropped a 72-62 decision on Nov. 22.

  • The winner of the UNM-LBSU contest will take on the winner of No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 Davidson.

  • The Lobos won their only meeting with Davidson (92-77 on Dec. 29, 1978) and are 0-2 vs. Louisville, with their last meeting taking place in the second round of the 1997 NCAA tournament. New Mexico lost, 64-63.

San Diego StateNo. 6 Seed San Diego State Aztecs vs. No. 11 Seed North Carolina State Wolfpack - Midwest Regional
Friday, March 16 - 12:40 p.m. ET
Nationwide Center - Columbus, Ohio

Number 6 seed San Diego State (26-7) shared the Mountain West regular-season crown with New Mexico and earned its first-ever NCAA at-large selection following a runner-up finish at the MW tournament. The Aztecs will square off against No. 11 seed North Carolina State (22-12) on Friday, March 16 at 12:40 p.m. ET, in the Midwest Regional at Nationwide Center in Columbus, Ohio. The contest will be televised by truTV. San Diego State is making its third straight appearance, and eighth overall, in the NCAA tournament, including last year's Sweet 16 run. The Aztecs, currently No. 18 and 21 in the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, respectively, have been ranked in the top-25 of both polls for 11 consecutive weeks.

A Closer Look at SDSU

  • This will be San Diego State's first meeting with NC State.

  • Mountain West teams are 3-1 vs. opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. TCU edged Virginia (57-55 on Nov. 18), while UNLV beat then-No. 1 North Carolina (90-80 on Nov. 26) and New Mexico defeated Boston College (75-57 on Nov. 27). Colorado State fell at then-No. 5 Duke (87-64 on Dec. 7).

  • The winner of the SDSU-NC State contest will face the winner of No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 14 Belmont.

  • The Aztecs have never played Belmont and lost their only meeting with Georgetown (71-53 on Dec. 5, 1981).

UNLVNo. 6 Seed UNLV Runnin' Rebels vs. No. 11 Seed Colorado Buffaloes - South Regional
Thursday, March 15 - Approx. 8 p.m. MT
The Pit - Albuquerque, N.M.

UNLV (26-8) garnered its ninth at-large bid in program history after capturing a No. 6 seed in the South Regional. The Runnin' Rebels will travel to The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., and will face No. 11 seed and Pac-12 tournament champion Colorado (23-11) in the second round on Thursday, March 15 at approximately 8 p.m. MT on truTV. UNLV will be making its fifth NCAA tournament appearance in six years, including a Sweet 16 run in 2007. Making their 19th NCAA tournament trip overall, the Rebels hold a 33-17 record in NCAA tournament games, ranking 10th nationally with a .660 win percentage. UNLV, currently No. 20 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' polls, has been ranked in the top-25 for 10 consecutive weeks.

A Closer Look at UNLV

  • UNLV is 4-1 all-time against Colorado. The two teams have not met since Dec. 22, 1981 when CU defeated UNLV, 65-59, in Las Vegas. Prior to that, the Rebels had won four straight meetings between 1973 and 1976.

  • UNLV has won both of its meetings against Pac-12 opponents this season, defeating USC (66-55) and fellow NCAA tournament participant California (85-68).

  • Mountain West teams are a combined 11-3 vs. Pac-12 squads in 2011-12, including a 2-1 record against Colorado. Colorado State (65-64 on Nov. 30) and Wyoming (65-54 on Dec. 9) beat the Buffaloes, while Air Force fell 76-73 in overtime on Nov. 23.

  • The winner of the UNLV-Colorado contest will face the winner of No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 South Dakota State.

  • UNLV has never played South Dakota State and is 1-2 vs. Baylor all-time.

Colorado StateNo. 11 Seed Colorado State Rams vs. No. 6 Seed Murray State Racers- West Regional
Thursday, March 15 - 12:15 p.m. ET
KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, Ky.

Colorado State (20-11) earned a No. 11 seed in the West Regional and will face No. 6 seed Murray State (30-1) in second-round play on Thursday, March 15 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky, tipping off at 12:15 p.m. ET on CBS. The Rams, who earned an at-large bid for the first time since 1990, will be making their ninth trip to the NCAA tournament and first since 2003 when they earned the league's automatic bid. This marks the third straight postseason appearance for CSU.

A Closer Look at CSU

  • This will be Colorado State's first-ever meeting with Murray State.

  • The Mountain West is 1-0 vs. the Ohio Valley Conference this season as the Rams defeated Jacksonville State, 79-56 on Dec. 29.

  • Potential third-round opponents for the Rams include No. 3 seed Marquette or the winner of a First Four match-up between No. 14 seeds BYU and Iona.

  • Colorado State has never played Marquette or Iona and is 45-89 all-time vs. BYU.