Saturday, March 13, 2010
MWC to get four bids? Believe it.
By Diamond Leung
I typed that headline in shortly after the San Diego State win, only to later realize Andy Katz tweeted the same thing.
We think it's going to happen. The first sellout Mountain West Conference tournament crowd of 18,500 saw it for themselves.
And for the rest of the nation, well, UNLV forward Chace Stanback is hoping you were paying attention to the four teams he thinks should all get to dance.
"I definitely think it was proved tonight," he said. "San Diego State won, and we played well. There's a lot of talent in this league. I don't think people realize that. We showed it."
The conference has shined over two days of games, featuring big performances from stars like New Mexico's Darington Hobson and BYU's Jimmer Fredette. Transfers like Stanback from UCLA and Tre'Von Willis from Memphis impressed for UNLV.
And San Diego State features a freshman talent named Kawhi Leonard who Pac-10 schools left alone. He stepped up tonight with big 3-pointers that put New Mexico down early -- big shots considering he shoots .219 from beyond the arc.
So let's talk up the MWC.
Asked to state his team's case after San Diego State defeated eighth-ranked New Mexico, coach Steve Fisher declined and said, "Our goal is to cut down the nets tomorrow.
"We added to the resume with this win, no question about it."
But Lobos coach Steve Alford, whose last lost came more than two months ago, was more willing to say it. He had seen enough of the Aztecs to know they deserved a bid.