Boise State Basketball

Mountain West’s decision to keep basketball tourney in Vegas a big win for Boise State

The Mountain West Conference men’s and women’s basketball teams will continue their annual tournament trip to Las Vegas through 2023.

The league’s board of directors announced Wednesday that the 2021, 2022 and 2023 tournaments will remain at the Thomas & Mack Center, approving the recommendation made by a committee comprising two athletic directors, two senior female administrators, two men’s basketball coaches and two women’s basketball coaches.

The decision to stay at Thomas & Mack could be considered a boon for the Boise State women’s team, which has won four of the past five tournament titles, including three in a row.

“We’re excited that the Mountain West Tournament will remain in Las Vegas,” Boise State women’s basketball coach Gordy Presnell said in a statement to the Idaho Statesman. “Our team has had great success at Thomas & Mack, and the Mountain West puts on a great event there year in and year out.”

The 2020 Mountain West women’s tournament was already scheduled for March 1-4 and the men’s for March 4-7 at Thomas & Mack — a week earlier than normal — to avoid the CONEXPO-CON/AGG International Construction Trade Show scheduled for the tournament’s traditional week of March 10-14.

Since its inception in 1999, the Mountain West has held 17 of its 20 league tournaments at the Thomas & Mack Center. From 2004 to 2006, the tournament was moved to the Pepsi Center in Denver.

“The Mountain West is pleased to extend its long history of successful men’s and women’s basketball championships at the Thomas & Mack Center,” Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said in a press release. “Las Vegas has become a mecca for college basketball in early March, and our MW fans have made it clear this is their preferred destination.”

The Pac-12, WCC and WAC tournaments also are located in Vegas.

Note: The Boise State men’s basketball team will host North Carolina-Wilmington for a nonconference game Friday, Nov. 29, according to a UNC Wilmington press release. It will be the first meeting between the two programs.

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