The Mountain West increased its reputation in football this season with some impressive wins over the Pac-10. The basketball programs figured to follow in its footsteps. There have been some solid hoops wins with Utah beating Oregon and UNLV destroying Arizona. But we're not quite at the point where Wyoming is going to waltz into Pauley Pavillion and beat UCLA.
In fact, it wasn't even close.
Wyoming has kind of lurked in the shadows this season, amassing a 9-1 record against largely inferior competition prior to taking on UCLA on Tuesday night. The Cowboys lost its only game of the season to WAC tournament champions, Boise State, so there was a glimmer of hope that Wyoming could make some noise against UCLA.
And hey, on a night when Portland State wins at Gonzaga anything is possible right? Wrong. Not sure if Wyoming scheduled UCLA back when Steve Lavin was coaching, but those losses don't happen anymore. The Bruins don't choke in the regular season, they save that for the Final Four. I feel bad for those Wyoming fans who traveled to make the trip. Not only is it raining in LA, but your team was the Washington Generals to the Bruins' Harlem Globetrotters.
That's not to say the game was a laugher, but at some point I thought that Michael Roll was going to throw a bucket of confetti into the crowd.
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Maybe the tide is starting to shift back into the Pac-10's favor. Arizona knocked off BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. And UCLA showed a mid-card Mountain West team just how far away they are from competing. To be honest, I'm kind of enjoying this Pac-10 vs. Mountain West rivalry. Maybe this is something that they can expand in the future with a Big Ten vs. ACC-type of challenge or something.