Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How a conference tournament may have looked this season

If the Mountain West had a conference postseason tournament like virtually every other league in the nation, or like baseball does in the Mountain West, this bracket shows how a 9-team, single-elimination tournament might have looked this season.

Another idea of a bracket format that's been gaining traction around the country is an abbreviated, 4-or 6-team tournament.  A 4-team tournament, taking the top four finishers in the regular-season race, might be a good idea for the Mountain West should the conference decided to renew its tourney, which was last held in 2006.

A 4-team, double-elimination format would likely provide an RPI boost to all four participants on  the season's final weekend.  It could only help, rather than hinder, the conference's quest for multiple NCAA bids.  The last time the Mountain West held a conference postseason tournament -- in the 2006 season -- the league earned three NCAA bids, including two at-large bids.  The following season, 2007, that number dropped to one.

While the MW appears better suited for multiple NCAA bids this season than in recent years, it's worth noting that the conference has sent only its regular-season champion to the NCAA tournament for three straight years.