The theme for this year has been inconsistency. Teams like Fresno State and Boise State at #2 and #3 in the conference respectively could have been automatic at-large bids heading into the tournament, but inconsistency has plagued both teams along with the rest of the conference. The Bulldogs and Broncos have both shown that they can beat any team on the floor, but can also lose to the bottom half of the conference. The Spartans at 9-21 (4-14) are dead last heading into the conference tournament, but two of those four conference wins have come against Fresno State and Boise State.
It's been one of those years in the Montain West.
Another reason for the lack of buzz surrounding this year's tournament is the fact that New Mexico and UNLV have simply been awful relative to their high standards. The Lobos are currently sitting at 17-14 (10-8) and have been in a free-fall over the past month with just a 3-6 record. You think that's bad? It gets worse when you look at UNLV at 17-14 (8-10). The Rebels got off to a decent start with solid non-conference wins against Indiana and Oregon, but were plagued once conference play started by the same thing as the other teams in the Mountain West...inconsistency. A conference like the Mountain West needs its premier programs to get back to their winning ways in order to generate that buzz around the conference tournament that you've seen over the past decade or so.
Overall, Boise State just might be the most dangerous team in this tournament, but which Bronco team will show up? The team that came storming back late to upset San Diego State on the road? Or the one that went down to San Jose State and laid a huge egg in front of about 100 fans? That's the question. The Broncos are the type of team that has the experience and talent to make a run in this tournament, but only if they can find the consistency (there's that word again) that has alluded them for much of the season.
In the end, the one thing about this year's tournament that should excite fans is the fact that about seven teams have a legit chance to win, but the one team that does come away victorious will have found a way to overcome the constant theme that we have seen from the conference this year...inconsistency.
My Pick: San Diego State
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