I guess it's that time to live vicariously through another program?
Well pick your team. Will it be from the Mountain West? Another non-Power program? Or are you hoppin' on the Syracuse bandwagon?
For this conference, it will have its best showing ever. Four teams and all with fairly decent seeds.
New Mexico grabbed a #3 seed, besting Utah's #5 from last year as the tops in Mountain West history. They'll open the tournament against Montana and then most likely will take on Marquette in the second round. A win there would put them in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history, where they would probably face either Wisconsin or Temple.
BYU owns the second best seed at 7 and will open against a very dangerous Florida team. The Gators are nowhere near as dominant as they were a few years ago, but they do play in the always tough SEC and have a few good wins under their belt. If they happen to win in the first round - which no Cougar team has done since 1994 - they're looking at a probable second round matchup against Kansas State.
The good news is that if they beat the Wildcats, they're playing their Sweet 16 game in Salt Lake. The bad news is that Kansas State is a legitimate two seed and a really athletic and talented team.
UNLV was given a 7th seed and will open against a talented and upset prone Northern Iowa team. They would theoretically play Kansas in the second round should they advance. The Jayhawks are a 1 seed.
It may look, at face value, like the Aztecs were slighted (they were given an 11th seed, even though they won the Mountain West Tournament), however, it's a very easy 11 - if that's possible. They do open against Tennessee, who, like Florida, plays in the SEC, but own a potential easier second round matchup than any other Mountain West team outside of New Mexico - pending any first round upsets, of course.
Ultimately, the Mountain West has the bracket to make some noise, but I think only New Mexico and UNLV are built for anything beyond the first round. The Cougars have a shot, though, but that's what I thought last year and they fell flat against Texas A&M.
Who do you think advances?