The Mountain West Conference men’s basketball conference tournament in Las Vegas started with an exhilarating bang featuring number one seed San Diego State and eighth seeded Boise State. The 65-62 SDSU win came down to the last second three point shot by conference player of the year Jamaal Franklin, drew up by conference coach of the year Steve Fisher.
Boise State led by as much as nine in the first half before the Aztecs trimmed the lead to two by the half. SDSU started the second half with a 4-0 run to take the lead in the second half, pushing the lead as high as 11 with 6:44 left after Chase Tapley hit a three pointer.
Franklin finished the game with 19 points including the game winner with no time remaining. Aztecs guard Chase Tapley led all scorers with 20 points. Australian-born Anthony Dmic led the Broncos with 19 points including two free throws to cut an Aztecs lead to two with 37 seconds remaining. After a Tapley turnover and BSU’s Bropleh knocking down a jumper to tie, Fisher called a time-out to set the stage for the Mountain West’s best.
This 25-6 Aztecs club has now won 25-plus the last four seasons, including this season’s team that is allegedly rebuilding with only nine scholarship players available. The Aztecs are a lock to make the tournament, but losing to a team that is now 13-17 would not be a good sign heading into the big dance.
The Mountain West has three teams that are locks including SDSU, UNLV and New Mexico are also heading to the tournament. Four and five seeded Colorado State and TCU probably need to win out to earn a conference record four teams to make it in.