Posted on: June 3, 2009 10:39 am
The Mountain West Conference has agreed to keep its basketball tournament in Las Vegas until at least 2013.
So UNLV will continue to be a great job until at least 2013.
Seriously, UNLV is a great job for a lot of reasons that include history and location and awesome buffets. But the fact that Lon Kruger gets to play home games for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament each season is a huge advantage, which is not to suggest the MWC is doing something wrong. Far as I'm concerned, every league's postseason event needs to be wherever it can get the most attention and buzz, wherever it makes the most sense. Clearly, in this case, that's Las Vegas. So it's a smart move. But to not acknowledge that it's also a massive advantage for UNLV would be naive, even if last season's first-round loss to San Diego State suggests otherwise.
Remember, UNLV won MWC tournament in 2007 and 2008.
And though the Rebels might've won those events regardless of the location, rest assured, the location helped.
And now we know it'll continue to help.
At least until 2013.
Posted on: September 16, 2008 9:45 am
Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: You will have two Mountain West teams in the Top 25 (and one) by years end! The national media always gives the benefit of doubt to teams in bigger conferences in the preseason.
I like to think of myself as a defender of the non-BCS affiliated schools. I try to write about them as much as possible and devote special places for them in the Friday Look Ahead and Monday Look Back during the season. I enjoy those programs. But let's be honest, Patrick. The reason national rankings from media members usually feature an abundance of programs from the bigger conferences is because -- ready for this? -- the programs from the bigger conferences are usually better. They tend to have more resources, nicer facilities and higher-rated recruiting classes. So it shouldn't surprise anybody when those schools are better than the schools from the non-BCS leagues -- with Gonzaga, Xavier and Memphis being a few obvious exceptions to this rule.
Is it fair?
Of course not.
The system works against non-BCS schools.
But the reality is that there are more high-level basketball programs in the Big East than there are in all of the non-BCS leagues combined. That's just a fact. So don't wake-up every morning feeling so slighted, Patrick. I had UNLV and BYU ranked much of last season. I'll gladly rank them again this season if circumstances require it. But at this point, I do not believe they do.