Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Three beat reporters provide the details on the WAC playing out

If WAC ends in four-way tie, New Mexico State will get No. 3 seed
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — On Monday, Commissioner Karl Benson said he wasn't surprised that the Western Athletic Conference race would come down to the final week of the season.

New Mexico State is one of four teams that could end the regular season with a 12-4 conference record atop the league standings.

"We were anticipating that it would be very competitive and very balanced and I think those four teams have separated themselves from the rest of the league," the WAC Commissioner said on Monday. "I think we have four very competitive teams and four teams that will be very deserving of postseason."

The race is so tight that even after clinching a share of the regular-season conference title over the weekend, Boise State could find itself the No. 4 seed for next week's WAC Tournament at the Pan American Center.

Boise State can win the conference outright with a win at Utah State in Boise on Thursday, but if the Broncos fail to do so, four teams could enter the conference tournament with a 12-4 conference record.

"That tie would be broken by comparing records of the four teams against each other," Benson said.

New Mexico State is one of three teams that currently have four losses. NMSU still needs help to grab a share of the league title, but the 10-4 Aggies hope to enter the four-loss logjam scenario by winning home games against San Jose State and Hawaii this week...

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WAC basketball: Utah State has upper hand in four-way tie
Steve Sneddon
March 4, 2008

The wild and wacky WAC regular-season basketball race could be getting wackier in the next five days.

If the Western Athletic Conference basketball race ends in a four-way tie with Boise State, Nevada, New Mexico State and Utah State tied at 12-4, Utah State would receive the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, commissioner Karl Benson said Monday.

Right now, Boise State, which clinched a share of the WAC title at Hawaii last Saturday, is the only school that is assured a piece of the conference championship. It can claim an outright title with a home win over Utah State on Thursday. But if Boise State loses to Utah State and the other contenders all win the rest of their games, the Broncos' seeding in the tournament at Las Cruces, N.M., March 11-15 would drop rapidly.

"That (12-4) tie would be broken by comparing the records of the four teams against each other," Benson said on the WAC coaches conference call. "And under that scenario, Utah State would be 4-2 against the field and would be the (No. 1) seed.

"New Mexico State and Nevada would both be 3-3 against the field. Nevada would be awarded the No. 2 seed based on their regular season wins against New Mexico State (which would be No. 3) And Boise State would be the No. 4 seed."

Nevada, which plays at Fresno State on Saturday, and Boise State are the only contending teams with just one regular-season game remaining. Utah State has two games left after beating Fresno State at home Monday. The Aggies play at Boise State on Thursday and at Idaho on Saturday. New Mexico State has two games remaining, both at home, against San Jose State on Thursday and Hawaii on Saturday...
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It looks like a logjam atop the WAC
Nevada Appeal
March 4, 2008

Don't look now, but heading into the final week of the season there could be a three-way or four-way tie for the regular-season Western Athletic Conference championship.

Boise State leads the way at 12-3 in league with a home game left on Thursday night against the dangerous Utah State Aggies. Nevada is currently in second place with an 11-4 record and an away game Saturday at Fresno State left. New Mexico State is 10-4 with home games left against San Jose State and Hawaii. Utah State is 10-4 after its win over Fresno State Monday night.

A four-way tie will happen if Boise State loses and Nevada, Utah State and New Mexico State win out. In that case, a four-way tie is broken by a team's record against the other three teams.

In that case, Utah State would be the top seed with a 4-2 record because of its potential sweep of Boise State and splits with New Mexico State and Nevada. The Pack would be the No. 2 based on its 3-3 record, which includes a sweep of New Mexico State. New Mexico State, providing it doesn't get upset, would also be 3-3, but would be third seed because it was swept by Nevada. Boise State would fall all the way down to fourth because it would have been swept by Utah State and New Mexico State.

A three-way tie would be broken the same way, according to WAC spokesperson Kara Irving.

Karl Benson, the WAC commissioner, said that the WAC is destined to be a one-bid conference. He did note, however, that Nevada (79), Utah State (88) and Boise State (97) were all in the top 100 in terms of Ratings Percentage Index (RPI)...
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