Mountain West preview: Pack No. 4, with SDSU looming

Nevada center Will Baker and his Wolf Pack teammates open up the Mountain West tournament on Thursday against San Jose State.

Nevada center Will Baker and his Wolf Pack teammates open up the Mountain West tournament on Thursday against San Jose State.
Photo by Thomas Ranson.

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A look ahead to the Mountain West men’s basketball tournament this week at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas:

HOW TO WATCH, LISTEN: The games can be seen on the Mountain West Network on Wednesday, CBS Sports Network on Thursday and Friday and CBS on Saturday. All Nevada Wolf Pack games can be heard on 94.5 FM.

SEEDING: 1: San Diego State. 2: Boise State. 3: Utah State. 4: Nevada. 5: San Jose State. 6: New Mexico. 7: UNLV. 8: Colorado State. 9: Fresno State. 10: Air Force. 11: Wyoming.

WEDNESDAY: Colorado State (14-17) vs. Fresno State (11-19), 11 a.m.; UNLV (18-12) vs. Air Force (14-17), 1:30 p.m.; New Mexico (21-10) vs. Wyoming (9-21), 4 p.m.

THURSDAY: San Diego State (24-6) vs. Colorado State-Fresno State winner, noon; Nevada (22-9) vs. San Jose State (19-12), 2:30 p.m.; Boise State (23-8) vs. UNLV-Air Force winner, 6 p.m.; Utah State (24-7) vs. New Mexico-Wyoming winner, 8:30 p.m.

FRIDAY: Semifinals, 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

SATURDAY: Championship, 3 p.m.

AT STAKE: Winner earns automatic bid to NCAA Tournament. Everybody else is competing for one of 36 at-large bids.

PAST TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS: UNLV (2000, 2007, 2008), BYU (2001), San Diego State (2002, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021), Colorado State (2003), Utah (2004, 2009), New Mexico (2005, 2012, 2013, 2014), Wyoming (2015), Fresno State (2016), Nevada (2017), Utah State (2019, 2020), Boise State (2022).

AZTECS OWN TOURNAMENT: San Diego State has won the most tournament titles (six) and has also finished second the most (eight times). The Aztecs also have the most tournament victories (39).

NEVADA IN TOURNAMENT: The Nevada Wolf Pack is 8-9 in the Mountain West tournament since joining the conference in 2012-13. Nevada has won one title (2017) in its only appearance in the title game.

NEVADA’S NEMESIS: No teams has treated the Nevada Wolf Pack as rudely in the Mountain West tournament as San Diego State. The Aztecs are 4-0 against the Pack in the tournament. Pack records against teams in the Mountain West tournament: Wyoming (0-2), Boise State (2-2), UNLV (1-1), New Mexico (2-0), San Diego State (0-4), Utah State (1-0), Fresno State (1-0), Colorado State (1-0).

PACK OPENER: San Jose State, the Pack’s opponent on Thursday, and Air Force are the only two current Mountain West teams the Pack has yet to meet in the tournament. San Jose State has never won a tournament game (0-8), while Air Force is 6-23. The two schools are the only current members of the conference that have never won a tournament title.

SEED HISTORY: The No. 1 seed in the Mountain West tournament has a record of 41-17 while the No. 2 seed is 45-12. The top two seeds have combined for 17 titles with the other nine seeds combining for six. The good news for Nevada this year is that the No. 4 seed has the third-best record in the tournament at 24-21. The No. 10 and 11 seeds have a record of 2-15. Seeds No. 8-11 have never gotten to the title game.

PACK SEED HISTORY: The Wolf Pack is 5-2 as the No. 1 seed, 0-2 as the No. 3 seed, 2-2 as the No. 5 seed, 1-1 as the No. 8 seed and 0-1 as both the No. 10 and 11 seeds. This is the first year the Pack has been the No. 4 seed.

ALFORD IN MW TOURNAMENT: Wolf Pack coach Steve Alford has a record of 10-7 in Mountain West tournament games with two (2012, 2013) championships (both with New Mexico). He was 8-4 with New Mexico and is 2-3 with Nevada. He is 10-5 against current members of the conference (0-1 against both former members BYU and Utah).

WAC TO MW: The Western Athletic Conference teams (Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State, San Jose State and Utah State) that joined the Mountain West from 2011-14 have a combined record of 38-43 in the Mountain West tournament with five championships (Boise State in 2022, Nevada in 2017, Fresno State in 2016, Utah State in 2019 and 2020).

WOLF PACK TOURNAMENT TITLE HISTORY: Nevada has won conference postseason tournaments in the Mountain West (2017), Western Athletic (2004, 2006) and Big Sky (1984, 1985).


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