Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Final Edition

May 21, 2012


Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Final Edition Get  Acrobat Reader

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For the second straight year, and fifth overall, a league record-tying six Mountain West teams received postseason bids. Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV earned their way into the 2012 NCAA tournament, while TCU and Wyoming participated in the College Basketball Invitational. The MW also sent six teams into postseason action in 2001-02, 2002-03, 2008-09 and 2010-11.

MW POSTSEASON NOTES

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

  • This marked the second time in three years the Mountain West had four representatives in the NCAA tournament. Four MW teams also participated in the 2010 NCAA tournament. The Mountain West has sent at least three teams to the NCAA tournament for three straight years and six times overall in the league's 13-year history (2001-04, 2009-12).

  • 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.

  • The 2011-12 campaign marked the 11th straight year, and 12th overall, the Mountain West had at least one at-large qualifier on Selection Sunday. The only year in which the MW had a lone representative in the Big Dance was in 2000-01.

  • In 13 years, the Mountain West has received 33 NCAA bids, including 21 at-large berths.

  • From 2007-12, 15 of 17 Mountain West representatives in the NCAA tournament have received a single-digit seed.

  • Mountain West teams have compiled a 14-18 record as single-digit seeds in the NCAA tournament during the league's 13-year history.

  • Overall, the Mountain West has received 62 postseason bids since its inception in 1999-00.

BEST IN THE WEST
In 2011-12, the Mountain West posted a 11-6 record against the Pac-12 Conference, including an 8-1 combined mark by the MW's top three teams (New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV). Over the last three seasons, the MW owns a record of 20-15 against the Pac-12. During that three-year span, the MW has not only left the Pac-12 in its wake, it has also gone 28-8 vs. the Western Athletic Conference; 19-7 vs. the West Coast Conference; 20-4 vs. the Big West Conference; and 26-7 vs. the Big Sky Conference.

MW IN FINAL NATIONAL RANKINGS
The 2011-12 season marked the third straight year the Mountain West had three different teams ranked in the top 25 polls at the same time at some point during the season. The Mountain West finished the 2011-12 campaign with three teams (21-New Mexico, 22-San Diego State, 23-UNLV) ranked in the final Associated Press poll, and one team (23-New Mexico) ranked in the final USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll. This marks the third straight year the Mountain West had at least two teams ranked in the final AP poll and one in the Coaches' poll.

MOUNTAIN WEST RANKED FIFTH IN CONFERENCE RPI
For the second straight year, the Mountain West finished the season ranked No. 5 in the final NCAA conference RPI. In 2011-12, the MW finished ahead of the ACC, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, Pac-12 and Conference USA. The No. 5 rankings in 2010-11 and 2011-12 are tied for the league's highest in its 13-year history. Overall, the Mountain West has ranked in the top 10 of the RPI in 12 of 13 seasons. The MW was 11th in 2004-05.

MW TEAMS IN NCAA RPI RANKINGS
Four Mountain West teams were ranked in the top 31 of the final 2011-12 NCAA RPI report. UNLV led the league at No. 25, followed by New Mexico at No. 27, Colorado State at No. 29 and San Diego State at No. 31. The Mountain West was one of three conferences to have at least four teams in the top 31 of the RPI, trailing only the Big Ten, who had five teams, and tying with the Big East at four.

Overall, no Mountain West team finished the 2011-12 season ranked lower than 181 in the final NCAA RPI report. The Mountain West and Big Ten were the only two conferences to have each of their teams ranked 181 or better.

FIVE MOUNTAIN WEST TEAMS REACH 20-WIN MARK
The Mountain West had at least four teams reach the 20-win mark for the sixth straight year with a league record-tying five teams (Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV and Wyoming) hitting the benchmark in 2011-12.

The Mountain West is one of six conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big East, C-USA, SEC) to have at least four teams with 20 or more wins each of the last six seasons (2006-07 to 2011-12).

UNLV leads the Conference with nine 20-win campaigns in 13 seasons as a member of the Mountain West, followed by San Diego State (eight), New Mexico (seven), Wyoming (four), Air Force (three) and Colorado State (one).

In the league's 13-year history, all 43 teams with 20 or more wins prior to Selection Sunday have been invited to the postseason.

MOUNTAIN WEST IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Mountain West teams posted a collective 102-33 (.756) mark against non-conference foes in 2011-12, which is the league's best non-conference record in its 13-year history. The MW's previous high of .722 (96-37) in non-conference play occurred during the 2006-07 campaign. The 2010-11 season is the only other year in which MW teams surpassed the 70 percent win mark in non-conference play, going 101-40 (.716).

NEW MEXICO CLAIMS MW TOURNAMENT CROWN
New Mexico claimed its second MW tournament crown, defeating top-seeded San Diego State, 68-59, in the 2012 championship game on March 10. The No. 2 seed Lobos began their run to the title with a 79-64 win over No. 7 seed Air Force in quarterfinal action before holding off No. 3 seed UNLV in the semifinals, 72-67. New Mexico's only other MW tournament championship was in 2005, when the No. 2-seeded Lobos beat No. 7 seed BYU, No. 6 seed San Diego State and top seed Utah en route to the crown.

NEW MEXICO, SAN DIEGO STATE SHARE MW REGULAR-SEASON CROWN
New Mexico and San Diego State each captured a share of the Mountain West regular-season crown with identical 10-4 records in 2011-12. That marked the Lobos' third MW title, all under head coach Steve Alford, while the Aztecs earned their third regular-season crown, all during head coach Steve Fisher's tenure.

AZTECS RACKING UP 25-WIN SEASONS
San Diego State is one of seven programs in the nation (BYU, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Saint Mary's, Syracuse) to have won at least 25 games each of the last four seasons.

UNLV UPENDS NO. 1 NORTH CAROLINA
UNLV captured the title at the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational in fine fashion, beating then-No. 1 North Carolina, 90-80, in the championship game. The Runnin' Rebels' win over the nation's top-ranked team in both polls was a first for a MW squad.

RUNNIN' REBELS CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 3-POINTER
UNLV currently holds the NCAA record for consecutive games with at least one made 3-pointer. Since the official adoption of the 3-point rule at the start of the 1986-87 season, the Runnin' Rebels have connected on at least one trey in all 840 of their games. UNLV, Princeton, Vanderbilt are the only three teams in the country to have made at least one 3-pointer in every one of their games since the rule was implemented.

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE
For the 13th consecutive year, the Mountain West topped the 1-million mark in home attendance. Including the MW basketball championship, a total of 1,092,044 fans came through the turnstiles at the eight Mountain West arenas during the 2011-12 campaign. As a conference, the MW averaged 7,800 fans per game/session to finish the season ranked sixth in the NCAA. The Mountain West has ranked in the top seven nationally for attendance each year since its inception in 1999-00.

For the fourth straight year, and seventh overall, at least three MW teams finished the season ranked among the top 30 nationally in home attendance. New Mexico finished the 2011-12 season ranked 16th nationally, averaging a league-best 14,454 fans per contest during a 16-game slate at The Pit. UNLV followed in 17th, averaging 14,025 fans for each of the Runnin' Rebels' 19 games at the Thomas & Mack Center. San Diego State capped the year with an average crowd of 12,096 during the Aztecs' 19-game schedule at Viejas Arena to rank 29th.

The Mountain West was one of six conferences (ACC; Big 12; Big East; Big Ten; SEC) to have at least three teams in the top 30 in 2011-12.