After earning a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title, BYU (22-7, 11-3 MWC) enters the MWC Tournament as the No. 2 seed and will face No. 7-seed New Mexico (10-17, 4-10) Thursday at Noon PST (1 p.m. MST) in the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The game is a ESPN+Plus telecast that will air on KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City and will be available via pay-per-view on ESPN FULL COURT. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing analysis. Live audio is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
BYU IN THE CONFERENCE TOURNEY
The Cougars have a 17-15 record in conference tournament games, which includes a 5-2 Mountain West tournament record and a 12-13 record in WAC tournament games. BYU advanced to the finals in the first two years of the MWC tournament, winning the title over UNM in 2001 after losing to UNLV in 2000. Last year BYU lost in the opening round to eventual tournament champion San Diego State. BYU defeated Air Force and co-champion Wyoming in 2001 in the first two games. In 2000, BYU defeated UNM and Utah in the first two tourney games. BYU has won the opening game in three of the last four postseason conference tournaments, including an upset of TCU in its first-round WAC tournament,90-74, in 1999. Prior to BYU's MWC Tournament title in 2001, BYU had last won a conference tournament title in 1992 when the Cougars' Kevin Nixon hit a dramatic three-quarter-court shot at the buzzer to defeat UTEP, 73-71, in Fort Collins, Colo.
2003 EAS MWC MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Quarterfinals -- March 13 (Thursday)
Game 1 -- No. 2 BYU vs. No. 7 New Mexico -- Noon PST -- ESPN+Plus
Game 2 -- No. 3 Wyoming vs. No. 6 Colorado State -- 2:30 p.m. PST -- ESPN+Plus
Game 3 -- No. 1 Utah vs. No. 8 Air Force -- 6 p.m. PST -- ESPN+Plus
Game 4 -- No. 4 UNLV vs. No. 5 San Diego State -- 9 p.m. PST -- ESPN
Semifinals -- March 14 (Friday)
Game 5 -- Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 -- 6 p.m. PST -- ESPN+Plus
Game 6 -- Winner Game 3 vs. Game 4 Winner -- 9 p.m. PST -- ESPN
Finals -- March 15 (Saturday)
Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner -- 7 p.m. PST -- ESPN
GAME #30 FAST FACTS (MWC TOURNAMENT GAME #1)
#2 BYU (22-7, 11-3 MWC) vs. #7 NEW MEXICO (10-17, 4-10 MWC)
THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2003
THOMAS & MACK CENTER (18,500)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Noon PST (1 p.m. MST)
BYU, Steve Cleveland (106-76 in sixth year; same overall)
UNM, Ritchie McKay (10-17 in first year; 93-106 in seventh year overall)
BYU leads, 64-47; Last: BYU won 91-81 in Albuquerque on March 3, 2003
ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City)
Pay-per-view: ESPN FULL COURT
Play-by-Play: Rich Waltz
Game Analyst: Irv Brown
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 11 a.m. PST (Noon MST)
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) andon KSL.com and byuradio.org or via BYU Radio on Dish Network.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 13.8 3.7 2.3 apg
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.1 3.4
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 11.9 8.8
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.7 4.7 2.4 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 6.2 2.2 2.3 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 5.6 1.5
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.5 2.8
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.2 1.7 2.3 apg
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 2.8 1.3
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 1.8 1.2
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.4 0.8
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.2 0.8
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.1 0.8
NEW MEXICO LOBOS
New Mexico is 10-17 overall and finished 4-10 in the MWC following Saturday's 68-60 loss at Air Force. The Lobos finished seventh in the league. UNM has dropped four of its last five. Despite just 15 points at Air Force, senior guard Ruben Douglas still leads the nation in scoring at 28.33 ppg through Sunday's games. Douglas needs 18 points against BYU to maintain his lead over Eastern Illinois? Henry Domercant, who finished the season averaging 27.93 ppg. An NABC all-district 13 selection, Douglas averaged a salty 32.1 points in MWC outings. Douglas was named the MWC Player of the Year and joined BYU's Travis Hansen as the only two consensus All-MWC First Team members. UNM is down to nine players, seven on scholarship plus two walk-ons, after sophomore Michael McCowan left the team last Wednesday. The Lobos? 19-year run of consecutive non-losing seasons is in jeopardy. UNM?s last sub-.500 record was 14-15 in 1982-83. Heading into the current season, only four other schools had longer active skeins without suffering a losing record, although the top streak is over as well. Ritchie McKay (Seattle Pacific ?87) is in his first season at the University of New Mexico and his fourth tour of duty as a collegiate head coach, with previous stops at Portland State (1996-98), Colorado State (1998-2000) and Oregon State (2000-02). He has a career record of 93-106. While at Mountain West Conference member CSU, McKay led the Rams to the 1999 NIT. McKay is 1-3 in his career against BYU. He is 0-1 in the MWC Tournament, losing to Wyoming 74-68, in the first round in 2000. Son of the late Joe McKay, who was a three-year letterman at UNM from 1961-63, Ritchie McKay was named the 18th head coach on March 28, 2002. He replaced Fran Fraschilla, who was 55-41 in three seasons, from 1999-2002.
LOBOS COMING OFF LOSS AT AIR FORCE
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Despite a career-high 23 points and 14 rebounds from redshirt freshman guard Mark Walters, the University of New Mexico was unable to stifle a sharp-shooting U.S. Air Force Academy offense, falling 68-60 on Saturday night at Clune Arena. Air Force (12-15, 3-11 MWC) used a 10-0 second half run to break open a tight game, which was delayed an hour when the New Mexico team bus was held up in a traffic jam en route to the arena. UNM (10-17, 4-10 MWC) will be the No. 7 seed in the upcoming Mountain West Conference Tournament where it will face BYU on Thursday, March 13 at noon. Trailing 33-32 at the 17:13 mark of the second half, Air Force forward Joel Gerlach hit back-to-back threes to spark a 16-4 Falcon run over the eight minutes. New Mexico was held scoreless for nearly five minutes as AFA scored 10-straight to build a 48-37 lead. UNM twice whittled the Air Force lead down to five points in the final minutes of play, but was unable to close the gap completely. Air Force shot 62 percent (24-39) from the floor as UNM dropped its 17th-straight road game and third-consecutive game at Clune Arena. Gerlach scored 18 points to lead four Falcons in double figures, while the nation's leading-scorer, UNM senior guard Ruben Douglas, was held to just 15 points on 4-18 shooting. Sophomore forward Jamaal Williams came of the bench to score 11 points for New Mexico, which shot just 40 percent (23-58) on the night.
NEW MEXICO'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
C 13 David Chiotti 6-9 250 Fr-HS 3.7 4.0
G 00 Mark Walters 6-2 195 Fr-RS 9.4 5.7
G 5 Ruben Douglas 6-5 200 Sr-2L 28.3 6.4
G 11 Javin Tindall 5-11 175 Jr-Tr 9.0 1.7
G 12 Ryan Ashcraft 6-2 175 Jr-2L 3.3 1.9
This will be the 112th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. BYU has won the last three games in the series since its loss last year in The Pit. BYU won in Albuquerque last week and went on to earn a share of the MWC title. The prior time BYU won in Albuquerque was in 2001 when the Cougars swept the UNM-AFA swing to finish the regular season in a three-way tie for first place along with Utah and Wyoming. BYU has won seven of the last eight games in the series after New Mexico had won 8 of the prior 9 contests. BYU's current string started when the Cougars upset the Lobos in the 2000 MWC Tournament as the No. 6 seed. New Mexico's last win in Provo was a 78-74 win in in 2000, which was BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center prior to starting its 44-game nation-leading homecourt victory string that was ended this year by Utah. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 8-6 vs. the Lobos.
BYU-UNM IN CONFERENCE TOURNEYS
This is the seventh meeting between the Lobos and Cougars in conference tournament play. UNM held a 4-0 advantage in the old Western Athletic Conference, but BYU is 2-0 in the MWC postseason, defeating New Mexico in the 2000 quarterfinals and winning the 2001 championship game.
COUGARS, LOBOS SET MARRIOTT CENTER THREE-POINT RECORD
BYU and New Mexico combined on Feb. 1 to set a new Marriott Center record with 23 treys made in a game, topping the 22 treys of LaSalle and BYU in 1992. The Cougars made 11 triples while UNM made 12 to set the new Marriott Center mark.
AT UNM -- HANSEN LEADS FIVE COUGARS IN DOUBLE FIGURES
ALBUQUERQUE -- BYU caps off its Mountain West Conference road season with a win over the Lobos of New Mexico 91-81, Monday night. With the win, the Cougars finish 5-2 away from home in the conference and pick up their 20th win of the season overall (20-7, 9-3 MWC). BYU held a three-point lead at the break, but went on a 16-4 run to open the half, extending the lead to 54-39. During the run, junior Mark Bigelow hit back-to-back treys and two free throws and Araujo had a transition jam inside to build the lead. The Cougars looked to lone senior Travis Hansen for big shots down the stretch to fight off attempted runs by the Lobos. Hansen led five Cougars in double figures with 26 points, including a perfect 12-for-12 from the line. Jared Jensen topped a new season-high in points with 19 along with six rebounds. He made many key buckets inside to quiet the raucous crowd of 15,741 at The Pit. Jensen scored 15 on the Lobos earlier this season in Provo. Araujo chipped in 14 points while grabbing 14 boards. The two big men scored 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting. Bigelow paced the run out of the gate in the second half before fouling out with 14 points. Kevin Woodberry added 11 points with five assists and just one turnover. BYU mixed defenses to try and contain UNM's Ruben Douglas. The Lobo guard scored 27 points, including 12-for-12 from the line to match Hansen for BYU in free throw accuracy. Cleveland wanted to limit Douglas' trips to the foul line after he helped the Lobos beat Utah Saturday by making 26 free throws. Mark Walters and Jamaal Williams scored 18 and 17 points respectively for New Mexico. The Cougar's defense came within 52 seconds of snapping Douglas' streak of 35 consecutive games with a three-pointer. He hit 1-of-7; the lone make came in the final minute of the game. BYU shot 63.6 percent in the second half to build the lead that they would never give up. The Cougars shot 54.5 percent from the field on the game and totaled the most points in a road game for BYU since 1994 at Air Force. BYU was 26-of-28 from the line for 93 percent.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE LAST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"Travis has been our leader all season on and off the court and he made some big shots. It is a great time for our big men to play well. We just needed to get them some post touches, and we did that tonight."
AT BYU -- DOUGLAS SCORES 39 BUT BALANCED COUGARS GET WIN
PROVO -- Four Cougars scored in double figures as BYU beat the University of New Mexico Lobos 80-64 Saturday at the Marriott Center, despite 39 points form Lobo guard Ruben Douglas. BYU improves to 14-5 on the season and 3-1 in MWC play. The Lobos drop to 1-4 in conference games and 7-11 overall. Travis Hansen led BYU with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Mark Bigelow and Ricky Bower each connected on four three-pointers. Bigelow finished the game with 15 points and Bower added 14. Jared Jensen chipped in 15 and carried most of the load in the paint for BYU. Jensen was also perfect 5-for-5 from the line. The two teams combined to set a new Marriott Center record of 23 three-pointers made. For the Lobos, most of those came from senior Ruben Douglas who hit seven treys and was 14-of-17 from the line to go along with seven rebounds. Guards Mark Walters and Javin Tindall chipped in nine and eight points for the Lobos. Bigelow scored BYU's final eight points of the half to give the Cougars a 39-31 lead at the break. UNM's zone defense shut down the middle, holding BYU center Rafael Araujo scoreless in the first half. Araujo finished the game with just three points. Douglas and Walters scored 29 of the Lobos 31 first-half points. Douglas had 22 at the intermission including 5 threes. New Mexico cut the deficit to six early in the second half, but, following a timeout, BYU went on a 9-0 run to gain a 15-point lead. The run was sparked by two treys from Bower. The Lobos fought back, cutting the lead to nine, 71-62, with 3:47 to play on two free throws by Douglas. Following another timeout, the Cougars went on another 9-0 run highlighted by a breakaway jam by Hansen. The dunk extended the BYU lead to 18 at 80-62, with just over one minute left. BYU out-shot New Mexico 49.1 percent to 39.6 percent and out-rebounded the Lobos 38 to 26.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"We tried a lot of things on Ruben but they didn't work. In the second half, when we made our run, we doubled him and he missed a few. He may be the best player in our league."
WHAT UNM COACH RITCHIE MCKAY HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"This was the best team we've played all year. There is not an offensive weakness out there--at least not that I could see."
HANSEN MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK MONDAY, EARNS ALL-MWC HONORS FIRST-TEAM HONORS AND DEFENSIVE PLAYER SELECTION
Senior guard Travis Hansen was joined Ruben Douglas of New Mexico as the only consensus All-MWC First Team members and was selected Co-Defensive Player of the Year with Marcus Banks. Hansen was also named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week Monday after leading BYU to three wins last week to earn a share of the regular season title with an 11-3 record. He scored a team-leading 21.3 points per game while adding 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. It is the second time he has won the award during his career. On Monday, he scored a team-high 26 points at New Mexico while going a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line. He added four boards, two steals and one assists. In a battle with third-place Wyoming, he put BYU in position to win the MWC title by scoring a game-high 23 points while adding 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He tied his career high by making three treys against the Cowboys. Hansen scored 15 points Saturday against Colorado State to help the Cougars earn their second share of a conference title in the last three years. During the week, he also excelled at the defensive end. He forced the nation's leading scorer Ruben Douglas to take a lot of tough shots as he shot 7-for-22 from the floor, including 1-of-7 on threes. He held Wyoming's leading scorer Donta Richardson to 9 points on 3-of-8 shooting. Richardson came in averaging 18.2 ppg. He made a spectatular block against the Cowboys, coming from behind the play to pin a would-be Wyoming layup off a fastbreak between the rim and backboard. He and his teammates became the first team to hold Colorado State below 40 percent shooting this season. Hansen leads BYU in scoring, assists and blocks and is second in rebounds.
BYU AT THE THOMAS AND MACK CENTER
As a neutral court, the Thomas & Mack Center has been friendly to the Cougars. BYU is 7-3 in neutral court games (WAC and MWC tournaments and last year's Las Vegas Showdown) at the Thomas & Mack. Last year BYU was 1-1 at the Thomas and Mack in neutral games, defeating No. 13 Stanford at the Las Vegas Showdown and losing to San Diego State at the MWC Tournament. The Cougars has won their six straight neutral court games at the Thomas & Mack (1-0 this year; 3-0 in 2001; 2-0 in 2000) prior to last year's loss to SDSU. BYU's prior neutral court loss was to Utah in the 1999 WAC Tournament after BYU's win over TCU in the opening round. BYU is 8-8 all-time at the Thomas & Mack Center when factoring in its 1-5 record vs. UNLV (BYU's win was a regular season victory in 2000). BYU's first two games in the series vs. UNLV played in Las Vegas in 1981 and 1982 were played before the Thomas & Mack was constructed in 1983.
CLEVELAND, BYU PLAYERS RECIEVE MWC POSTSEASON HONORS
Steve Cleveland Named Coach of the Year; Travis Hansen Co-Defensive Player of the Year
The Mountain West Conference announced its 2002-03 men's basketball awards Monday. The league's eight men's head coaches along with a selected media panel picked the all-conference teams, coach, player, freshman and defensive awards.
BYU's head coach Steve Cleveland captured Coach of the Year honors, while Ruben Douglas of New Mexico was selected the Player of the Year. Freshman of the Year honors went to Evan Burns of San Diego State, while UNLV's Marcus Banks and BYU's Travis Hansen were named co-Defensive Players of the Year.
Four of Cleveland's BYU players joined him in being honored by the MWC media and coaches. BYU's lone senior Hansen was selected to the All-MWC First Team, while juniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo were voted to the All-MWC Third Team and sophomore Jared Jensen receiving honorable mention.
Hansen joined New Mexico's Ruben Douglas as the only consensus first-team selections. A 6-foot-6 guard, Travis Hansen was selected first-team All-MWC for the first time in his career after being named to the second-team in 2001-02. Hansen leads the Cougars in scoring and ranks fourth in the league (conference games only) with a 17.8 points per game average. A first-team NABC District 13 selection this season, Hansen led BYU in scoring in nine of 14 league games and scored 18 or more points in seven games.
Regular season co-champion Utah led the league with four all-conference selections. BYU had the second-most honorees with three, followed by UNLV and Wyoming with two and New Mexico, San Diego State, Colorado State and Air Force with one. Douglas was the only repeat first-team honoree from last season. This is the first time in the four-year history of the league that all eight institutions are represented on the three all-conference teams and that the first-team was comprised of all seniors.
Steve Cleveland led BYU to a 22-7 overall record and 11-3 league mark as it captured its second regular-season conference title in four years. It was also the Cougars third 20-plus win season in Cleveland's six years at the helm. The 2002-03 Cougars became the just the third Mountain West team to win five conference road games and 11 total league contests in a single-season (along with Utah and Wyoming). Cleveland is the first BYU coach to garner coach of the year honors since Roger Reid in 1991-92.
New Mexico senior guard Ruben Douglas was selected as Player of the Year despite the Lobos 10-17 overall record and seventh-place finish in the league with a 4-10 mark. Douglas led the league with an MWC record 32.1 points per game in conference play this season while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 45.7 percent from the three-point line. He also ranked third in rebounding with 7.2 rebounds per game. In all games, he currently leads the in scoring with a 28.3 points per game average, while grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game and shooting 40.2 percent from the field. Douglas, a first-team NABC District 13 selection, has scored 20 or more points 25 times this season, which is a school record, and scored 30 or more points 11 times. Douglas is the first Lobo since Clayton Shields in 1997-98 to be named conference player of the year.
Senior guard Marcus Banks of UNLV and senior guard Travis Hansen of BYU were named co-Defensive Players of the Year. Banks captures Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight season after leading the league with 31 steals in conference play and a 2.21 per game average. In all games, Banks leads the conference and ranks fifth nationally with a 2.82 steals per game average and is one of three players in the country to have recorded eight or more steals in two different games this season. Banks recorded a league-high nine games with four or more steals this season. Hansen had 15 steals (1.07 spg), nine blocks (0.64 bpg) and averaged 3.07 defensive rebounds per game in league play. He was named conference player of the week Mar. 10 for his defensive effort as the Cougars went 3-0 in the final week of play and secured a share of the league title.
Freshman of the Year honors went to San Diego State's Evan Burns. Burns, a forward from Los Angeles, Calif. (Fairfax HS) is the league scoring leader among freshman at 10.2 points per game. He also ranks second in rebounding (4.9 rpg), field goal percentage (.524), steals (0.93) and is fourth in assists (1.14). Burns was the only freshman to be named player of the week this season, capturing the honor the week of March 3. He posted six double-digit scoring games during league play, including the last four, and recorded a double-double with a career-high 31 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in the Aztec victory over New Mexico Feb. 24.
LAST OUTING -- BYU CLAIMS SHARE OF REGULAR SEASON TITLE
PROVO -- The largest Marriott Center crowd in 11 years (22,702) honored BYU hall-of-famer Danny Ainge and saw the Cougars win a share of the Mountain West Conference Championship by beating Colorado State 67-55 Saturday night. "I have a great appreciation for where we started, and tonight to see the arena full was a great thrill." said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "To share this in front of an entire community was something very special for me." Ainge's jersey, number 22, was retired and now hangs from the rafters in Provo. BYU also paid tribute to lone senior Travis Hansen in his last home game as a Cougar. Hansen was the first player to cut a loop from the net, which came down after the game in celebration of the school's 26th conference championship. No player in BYU history helped the Cougars to a better home record over a three-year period than Travis Hansen. In the last three seasons the Cougars have posted a 44-1 mark. The next best three-year home record was 39-2 during the final three seasons of Ainge's BYU career from 1979-81. In the first half, BYU used a 17-2 run during an eight-minute stretch to build the lead to 14 points at 26-12. The Rams held the lead momentarily at 10-9 thanks to a bucket by Ronnie Clark with just under 15 minutes to play in the first half before the Cougars' run. In the second half, BYU controlled the boards, pounded the ball inside, and held CSU to 34.6 percent shooting to pull ahead. It is the first time this year the Rams were held below 40 percent shooting. "Right now BYU is playing better basketball than anyone in the league," said CSU head coach Dale Layer. Brian Greene led the Rams with 18 points and eight rebounds while Matt Nelson added 17. Ram sharp-shooter
Andy Birley, who connected on six three-pointers in Fort Collins, was held to just one trey and only three points. The Cougars spread the ball around effectively with four players scoring in double figures. Mark Bigelow led all scorers with 20 points followed by Hansen with 15. Rafael Araujo scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Kevin Woodberry chipped in 10.
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (22-7) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and shared the MWC regular season title with Utah at 11-3. Hansen leads the team in scoring (16.7) and assists (2.4) and is second in rebounding (4.7); Bigelow is second in scoring (13.8), third in rebounding (3.7) and the team's top three-point shooter (60-135); while Araujo is the third-leading scorer (11.9) and top rebounder (8.8). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry starts at the point averaging 6.2 points and 2.3 assists. Coach Cleveland has more talent on the bench this year. Wisconsin transfer junior guard Ricky Bower leads the reserves, averaging 5.6 points and shooting 44 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars shoot .470 from the floor, .392 on threes (No. 17 nationally among last week's NCAA leaders) and an MWC-best .752 (No. 20 nationally in last week's NCAA stats) from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .404 shooting, including .303 on threes. BYU scores 72.2 ppg while allowing 63.2. BYU went 13-1 at home and 9-6 away, including a 3-1 neutral record and 6-5 road mark. Cleveland has used five starting lineups. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts came out of a possible redshirt season after 13 games, playing at Weber State. Freshmen guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba are redshirting this season.
Ã² BYU earned a share of the league title with Utah. It is the second time in the last three years the Cougars have shared the regular season title. BYU last earned a piece of the conference regular season title in 2001 when there was a three-way tie at 10-4 with Wyoming and Utah. BYU went on to win the MWC Tournament that year and was the lone MWC team to advance to the NCAA Tournament. In BYU's 100-year basketball history, the Cougars now have claimed 26 conference championships.
Ã² BYU has won four straight games and nine of its last 11 entering the MWC Tournament.
Ã² Senior guard Travis Hansen led BYU to three wins last week to earn a share of the regular season title with an 11-3 record. He scored a team-leading 21.3 ppg while adding 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals.
Ã² With BYU's three wins last week , BYU improved its record to 22-7 record, Cleveland's third 20-win season in the last four years. The only BYU coaches to have more 20-win seasons are Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6). Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
Ã² BYU has traditionally finished strong under Steve Cleveland. BYU is 17-8 in March under Steve Cleveland, including this year's 4-0 record in March. Cleveland is 5-2 in the MWC Tournament.
Ã² With its 91-81 win over UNM, BYU scored the most points on an opponent's homecourt since defeating Air Force 94-82 in 1994. Five Cougars reached double figures for the fist time since December 2000.
Ã² BYU swept five MWC opponents this year. Its three losses came at UNLV and to Utah (twice).
Ã² BYU become the first team to hold Colorado State below 40 percent shooting this year. The top shooting team in the nation, CSU managed just .383 shooting, .214 on threes, Saturday in the Marriott Center.
Ã² BYU finished the conference season with a 5-2 record on the road. BYU swept two conference road trips this year, winning on the Front Range for the first time since 1993 and winning at AFA an UNM for the first time since 2001. BYU didn't play at SDSU (win) and UNLV (loss) in the traditional single-trip this season. In 2001, BYU went on to earn a share of the regular season title, win the MWC tournament and advance to the NCAA tournament with a 24-9 record. In 1993, BYU finished the season with a 25-9 record, tied for the WAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, going 1-1 with a win over SMU before a loss to Kansas.
Ã² BYU finished the regular season with a 7-1 record against teams that were conference champions last year. BYU went 11-5 against teams that qualified for postseason play last season.
Ã² BYU's 22,702 attendance Saturday vs. CSU was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history. BYU averaged 14,468 this year in its 14 home games.
Ã² With Saturday's win over Colorado State, BYU finished the season 13-1 at home this year. Lone senior Travis Hansen concluded his three seasons as a Cougar having lost only once at home. BYU earned a 44-1 record in Hansen's three years at BYU -- the best three-year home record in school history. The second-best home record over three years was a 39-2 mark from 1979-81 in Danny Ainge's final three seasons.
Ã² Danny Ainge was honored Saturday by becoming the first BYU player to have his jersey retired. Many former teammates and coaches were in attendance. Danny's son Austin is redshirting on this year's BYU team.
RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU had been the top-rated MWC team throughout most of the year in the Sagarin and RPI. In the RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com after Sunday's results, BYU has a No. 13 rating while Utah is No. 17. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News through Sunday's results, BYU is 15th and Utah is No. 17. BYU is rated 24th in the Sagarin Ratings with Utah at 31.
STATISTICS SHOW STRENGTH
BYU's strong play and conference championship is reflected in the MWC statistics. BYU finished in the top three in 17 of 19 statistical categories in league play. BYU led in five statistical categories, was the second-rated team in six and finished third in six more. The lone two categories BYU was not in the top three were field goal percentage (5th) and blocked shots (7th).
COUGARS PLAY TOP MWC SCHEDULE, AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST
BYU has achieved an 22-7 record playing the toughest schedule of any MWC team and among the tougest in the nation. BYU's schedule is rated the 10th toughest in the nation by Collegiate Basketball News RPI and 19th most difficult by CBS.Sportsline.com. BYU's schedule is rated No. 58 in the Sagarin Ratings. Utah has the next toughest MWC schedule (25th by CBN and 43rd by CBS.Sportsline.com, 84th by Sagarin).This year's schedule features 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title. BYU's non-conference schedule included teams from 10 different conferences -- Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic.
BYU is 20-1 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 2-6 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 87-16 (.845) when holding opponents below 70 points. BYU's winning percentage drops off substantially when BYU opponents have scored between 70-79 points. BYU's record is 17-35 (.327) in those games during the Cleveland era.
PICKED FOURTH, BYU FINISHES TIED FOR FIRST
Picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference by the league's media members, BYU earned a share of the regular season title for the second time in the last three years. BYU has a won 58.7 percent (429-302) of its games all-time vs. MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West in its first three seasons, winning 63 percent of all MWC titles, including the 2001 men's basketball championship.
BYU ON THE ROAD
BYU is 6-5 on the road this year, including a 5-2 MWC record. Counting neutral court games, BYU is 9-6 away from the Marriott Center.
NEUTRAL COURT RECORD
BYU is 12-8 on a neutral court under Steve Cleveland. Last year BYU was 1-1 on a neutral floor. BYU is 3-1 this year with three wins at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to claim the Jam Title and a loss to Oklahoma State at the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City. The Cougars have won seven of their last 10 neutral court contests.