Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wild, Wild Mountain West

Just got finished watching UNLV absolutely pound BYU, 70-41.

That’s UNLV, the team Air Force handled on Saturday, beating the defending conference champs. Badly.

And prior to that, TCU overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to beat New Mexico at the buzzer, 74-72.

Three things jump out:

One, it’s more than cliché this season when coaches talk about the importance of protecting their home courts. UNLV looked like a completely different team in Vegas than it did on Saturday at Clune Arena. More confidence shooting the ball, better defense, better intensity. The conference champ this season will have to be close to perfect at home.

Two, BYU’s Trent Plaisted had better figure out how to shoot free throws. One for 10? No matter how good he is in other facets of the game, that kind of percentage makes him a liability.

And three, this could be one wild year. You can drive yourself crazy by playing the “Team A beat Team B and Team C beat Team A, so Team C should beat Team B” game. But still, a look at scores around the conference seem to make Air Force’s prospects for shocking the league this season a whole lot more promising.

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