It has been very nice of late to hear the names of Mountain West teams being mentioned on national sports shows. I have noticed that BYU is almost always mentioned as a quality win for Wake Forest.
Now I realize that being mentioned for losing a game is not exactly the best press you can have, but it says a lot about how far they have come as a program.
A huge part of that recognition is their dominance at home over the years. It is unfortunate that with their first quality opponent outside of the conference in years that they lost, but at least they put up a good fight. In some ways losing may actually have been good because they may be able to entice other quality schools into the Marriot Center and spring a few upsets.
In looking at early predictions for the NCAA tournament, I have also seen that writers are picking as many as four teams from the MWC. The four teams are BYU, Utah, UNLV, and San Diego St. It just goes to show that the conference as a whole is improving greatly, and that the balance of power across the country is being spread more evenly.
I also can’t help but think that the conference’s success in football has an impact on it. While having quality football teams does not directly impact your basketball team, it does lead to more attention for your school in general. The MWC is making a legitimate case for being included in the BCS and I can’t help but think that that is helping their case in basketball too.
So as much as it sucks having to go without a game this weekend, take heart in the fact that the conference is gaining respect, and that, more importantly, BYU is being noticed at a national level.