Cowboys, Cowgirls prepare for MWC tourney

The brackets are out and the match-ups are set for the Mountain West Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. Action begins Tuesday.

The Wyoming men and women both play Wednesday. The Cowboys play TCU in the play-in game at 3 p.m. MST. The Cowgirls get a bye in the first round as the tournament’s third seed, and get the winner of Tuesday’s six-seven game between New Mexico and San Diego State at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

I like the men’s chances against TCU. UW beat TCU by 10 a few weeks ago and the Horned Frogs have lost 13 in a row. UW is 2-5 since interim coach Fred Langley took over. The play-in game often times comes down to who wants it the most. I think UW will do just enough to win by five.

The winner gets top-seeded BYU, and UW hung with the Cougars for a while before a 102-78 loss Saturday in Provo. But the Cowboys can’t look ahead to that, they need to focus on the Horned Frogs.

The Cowgirls’ opener scares me. Not because UW lost its regular-season finale by 16 at home to top-seeded BYU Saturday. But because both New Mexico and San Diego State know what it takes to win games at this event, and the Cowgirls are just 3-11.

Both teams are dangerous, but that’s not to say UW isn’t, either. I talked to coach Joe Legerski last Thursday — less than 24 hours after his team went on the road and won at San Diego State — and he said this team continues to amaze him and that no challenge is too big. It’s nice that the Cowgirls have four seniors who have played in this kind of environment. If UW can avoid a slow start Wednesday it wins. If it starts slow, it will be tough.

That would set up a semifinal matchup with second-seeded TCU Friday. TCU swept the regular-season series. You know what they say, it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season. Hope that isn’t the case for UW Wednesday.

Any thoughts?

I will be live blogging all UW men’s and women’s games from the tournament. More information will be sent out soon.

Here is the men’s bracket: http://www.themwc.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/mwc/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/mwc-11-m-baskbl-bracket

Here is the women’s bracket: http://www.themwc.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/mwc/sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/mwc-11-w-champ-bracket