Its madness, I tell you! March Madness! As you all know, tournament basketball is upon us. But before the NCAA tournament comes each conference's respective tournament. This is BYU (and Utah)'s last time competing for the Mountain West's automatic bid into the Big Dance. However, this is not BYU's last time competing for a championship in Las Vegas. The West Coast Conference also holds their annual tournament in Sin City and this year Gonzaga won the trophy and auto-bid. But before looking forward to next season, let's take a look at how the 2011 Conoco Mountain West Conference Tournament would turn out if all my wildest dreams came true.
My predictions after the jump....if you dare!
Play-in game: (9) TCU takes on (8) Wyoming in the play-in game to kick off the MWC Mens Tourney on Wednesday at 3 pm Mountain Time. Realistically, this game could go either way and I wouldn't mind since BYU easily dismissed both teams each time we saw them during the regular season. However, my roommate is from Wyoming and I would love to see BYU destroy them in the first round so Wyoming wins this one 62-55.
First round: (1) BYU vs (8) Wyoming is the first game on Thursday at 1 pm. Jimmer quietly scores 20 points and dishes out at least 6 assists and sits most of the second half while the rest of the team gains confidence for the next round. BYU wins 83-65. Next up is (4) Colorado State vs (5) New Mexico at 3:30 pm. Andy Ogide has been beasting and almost single-handedly leads the Rams past the Lobos with 30 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks but a buzzer-beating 3 by Dairese Gary gives New Mexico the 55-54 win and sets up a BYU/UNM semifinal. Next up at 7 pm is (7) Utah vs (2) San Diego State and I know its a big stretch but Utah shocks the conference by upsetting the Aztecs 68-60 after Kawhi Leonard goes down with a minor injury and Coach Fisher decides that it is better to sit him rather than risk further damage since SDSU has already wrapped up a high seed in the NCAA tourney. To cap off the night, (3) UNLV beats (6) Air Force in the 9:30 pm game by a score of 58-44.
Second round: It's Friday night and The Jimmer knows what that means...more people will be watching this night than there were in the first round cakewalk against the Wyoming Cowboys. So what does he do? He goes and scores his season average of 28 points but also distributes the ball very well to Charles Abouo and Jackson Emery and (1) BYU gets revenge on their two previous losses to the Lobos in a 90-76 drubbing of (5) New Mexico in the 7 pm game. The 9:30 pm late game features (3) UNLV against (7) Utah for a chance at the Cougars in the final. Being from Las Vegas, you'd think the Rebels would love the start time but once the ball is tipped off, it is obvious that UNLV is not playing like their normal selves and the Utes serve up another upset special. 78-69. This great, all-around team victory that has all 5 Utah starters scoring in double digits may just be enough to save Jim Boylen his job.
Championship game: Who saw this coming? OK, some people potentially saw BYU in this spot but, come on, Utah? These two founding members of the MWC and age-old, bitter rivals take each other on for one final time in the 2011 Conoco Mountain West Conference Championship game at 5 pm on Saturday evening. Both schools are jumping ship after this season for greener pastures. No more horrible television contract, no more Craig Thompson, no more carrying the Mountain West Conference on their backs. This is for all the glory. And for Utah this is their chance to take the conference's bid into NCAA tourney and shock everybody in the nation. Crazier things have happened before. But not on this night. Jimmer simply will not allow it. Jimmer's season high of 47 points was against Utah and he not only repeats that feat, he beats it. 50 points. BYU crushes Utah's spirits and says a fond "Na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" to the red team from up north with a resounding 101-76 victory.
Now a vote, what do y'all think will happen this week?