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Mountain West is talking to Gonzaga ... and BYU is on their lips

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FIRE UP THE CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT CANNON

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Brigham Young Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Conference realignment spurts up every so often in college athletics. Nothing’s been quite like the summers where it seemed the entire Big 12 might blow up and the Pac-12 would own west of the Mississippi.

In basketball, moves are more subtle. Wichita State leaving the Missouri Valley for the American, for example.

Well, we just might have ourselves a basketball move — and it could involve BYU.

The Mountain West Conference commissioner — ol’ Craig Thompson himself, the only commish the MW has ever known — told the San Diego Union Tribune he’s had direct discussions with Gonzaga about leaving the West Coast Conference for the Mountain West.

He said he’s spoken with six schools, Gonzaga being one of them, about such a move.

None of them are BYU, but Gonzaga might want that to change.

Some excerpts:

Thompson said BYU was not among the other schools that have contacted him about expansion, but several sources indicated that BYU — which went independent in football in 2011 and plays in the WCC in most other sports — would consider a return to the Mountain West at least in basketball if Gonzaga joins.

OK, you have our attention.

Several sources said Gonzaga coach Mark Few is involved in the Mountain West discussions and intrigued by the possibility, particularly if BYU follows.

Huh!

When could this happen? NEXT season? Do they read VTF?!?!

If something like this went down, BYU would at least return to having games start at appropriate times for folks in the Mountain time zone and farther east.

While the WCC is on track for two tournament bids to the MW’s one, it’s a lot of feasting at the top of the WCC and a whole lot of famine behind it. Ken Pomeroy ratings have the Mountain West as a stronger conference this season.

There’s also the wonder of who else the Mountain West is talking to. It seems like New Mexico State and Grand Canyon are likely near the top of that list, if we’re talking basketball. For hoops and football, perhaps a school like UTEP?

-> Read the full San Diego Tribune story