Location: Las Vegas, NV
Venue: Thomas & Mack Center
Dates: March 2015
The Mountain West Conference is one of the youngest leagues on the national stage, forming in 1999 and becoming one of the most geographically diverse conferences in the NCAA. The league has grown from humble beginnings to produce professional level talent over a variety of sports. In 2005, the conference was the first in the country to produce a No. 1 overall pick in both the NFL and NBA in the same season (Alex Smith in football and Andrew Bogut in basketball). The Mountain West Men's Basketball Tournament has also provided plenty of excitement in the NCAA Tournament, and in 2012, it sent a league-record four teams to the big dance.
The conference's first tournament took place in the 1999-2000 season and was held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first tournament winner was top-seeded UNLV, who relied on the strength of tournament MVP Mark Dickel, and the stellar play of Kaspars Kambala and Dalron Johnson. UNLV continued to be a huge factor in the tournament, and won three championships over the course of the decade.
In the late 2000s, San Diego State began to pick up steam and build a bevy of solid recruiting classes. They surprised many in the sports world when they shocked UNLV in the final in 2002. The school began to build consistently good teams in the late '90s, culminating in championships in 2006, 2010 and 2011. The team leads the league with four titles and is a consistent contestant in the NCAA Tournament. The University of Utah has also made noise in the Mountain West Tournament over the years with championships in 2004 and 2009, building a strong reputation of success.
In 2013, the Mountain West will undergo a major realignment that will change the look of its men's basketball tournament forever. It will join up with Conference USA to create a huge new league that will feature a variety of teams from all over the country.
In its short history, the Mountain West conference has left an indelible impact on college men's basketball, but it will undergo major changes in the coming years. Its level of competition has improved steadily to make its tournament a huge event on the NCAA calendar.
Mountain West Mens Basketball Tournament Preview History
Mountain West Basketball Tournament 1 1
Mountain West Basketball Tournament!!! Because I was unsure of the games and times I wished to attend the tournament, I waited until fairly late to search for tickets. After having marginal success in finding acceptable tickets at reasonable prices, I happened to find the link to TicketCity. What a stroke of luck!! I was able to find the same or better seats at substantially lower and very satisfactory prices!!! I will shop TicketCity first for my ticket needs in the future!!! March 22, 2011