Jordan Stone, Matt Staff

Realignment, Spinal Tap and the Mountain West tournament

Leave a comment

I found this on, on the quotes page for the legendary 1984 film This is Spinal Tap:

Nigel Tufnel: You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.

Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

Going to eleven might be a great idea for rock n’ roll, but how does it work for an athletic conference? Given that extra push over the cliff, the coaches of the Mountain West, which will add Utah State and San Jose State next season, are debating how to make the postseason tournament work. Not content with ten, they’re willing to “put it up to eleven” by co-opting the play-in game concept that the NCAA tourney has used recently.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the league’s coaches like the following idea:

The current format has one play-in game the league dubs the “opening round,” but the new proposal would push that round from two teams to six for both the men’s and the women’s brackets.

Nevertheless, the league’s coaches want to push forward with an all-inclusive tournament format that would look like this:

Round 1:

♦ No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 seed;

♦ No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed;

♦ No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed.


♦ No. 1 vs. No. 8/9 winner;

♦ No. 2 vs. No. 7/10 winner;

♦ No. 3 vs. No. 6/11 winner;

♦ No. 4 vs. No. 5.

The semifinals and championship round would remain the same.

The league’s Board of Directors will consider the coaches’ preferred plan, as well as at least two proposals that would leave teams out of the postseason mix if they fail to place in the league’s upper echelons. A nine-team and ten-team model has been suggested for those other options.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: