While most of the College Basketball world will have their attention turned to the First Four beginning tonight, us MWC fans actually have some good games to watch. The NIT, CIT, and CBI tournaments all begin play tonight and the Mountain West has two teams in the NIT and one in the CIT. New Mexico renews its rivalry with UTEP and Colorado State hosts Fairfield in the first round of the NIT. Both teams are playing at home, and both are expected to be sell-outs. Air Force also plays North Dakota, but that won't be on television as the CIT isn't exactly the tournament to watch.
All games start at 7:00 P.M. Mountain time, so the games should be pretty easy to keep track of. UTEP @ New Mexico is going to be on ESPN2, so that one we should be able to see in HD. Fairfield @ Colorado State is only on ESPN3.com and North Dakota @ Air Force isn't anywhere except for GameCast or GameTracker.
An interesting note is that North Dakota got into the CIT by hitting a buzzer beater to beat South Dakota in the Great West championship. Since the Great West was only formed a few years ago, it hasn't yet accumulated enough years to get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Speaking of the Great West, anyone notice that the conference spans from Coast-to-Coast? Their members are Texas Pan-American, Chicago State, Cal Poly, Houston Baptist, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology, Southern Utah, UC Davis, and Utah Valley. That's 2 schools in California, 2 in Utah, 2 in Texas, 1 in Illinois, 1 in each Dakota, and one in New Jersey. Travel must be an absolute nightmare for those AD's.
Anyway, go ahead and talk about tonight's Mountain West games as well as the First Four which kicks off on TruTV tonight.
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