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  • Jordan Banegas

Dream Conference: MBB


I know you're tired of conference realignment talk and even more disheartened about NM State’s outlook in the landscape. I don’t blame you. At NM State Nation, that won’t stop us from diving in head first to conference talk, especially for our crown jewel: Men’s Basketball. I took everything I could into account: program success, proximity, historical and current rivalries, and budget, all to construct the ideal conference for our Aggies. Check out the travel partners below with commentary on each member. Who’d I miss? Who’d you nix?


Disclaimer: I know this is entirely impossible for a number of reasons but if you haven’t heard, there’s a pandemic going on and we’re all looking for a good outlet that involves some harmless fantasy. So before we hear from the “well ackshually” crew, please lighten up and enjoy the conversation.



New Mexico State
UTEP

UTEP barely squeaked into the conference for their natural travel partner appeal to us and historic tradition. In case you’ve never argued with a Minor* fan in your life, UTEP won it all in 1966. You’ve got to imagine that being in a conference such as this only elevates UTEP back into a competitor they’ve shown they can be. Finally, the Rio Grande teams are conference and travel mates. Call me a homer but NM State Basketball belongs with these other western mid-major standouts. Talent and competition-wise, I truly believe they wouldn’t skip a beat in a competitive conference such as this.


*Intentional and correct spelling of our rival's mascot to the south.


New Mexico
Utah State

I know these two don’t make sense geographically but being the odd men out, I paired them together. This road trip would be the most fun basketball-wise for NM State considering both of them are significant rivals. Imagine that road trip playing in front of 14k Thursday and 10k Saturday night against your most hated rivals for an in-conference battle. A mid-major dream.



Nevada
Boise State

The trip to the mountains would be a refreshing rekindling of two former conference foes, one in Nevada that I’d call a rival. Nevada is clearly the heavyweight between the two but Boise State has had some good years and is not short on resources nor brand recognition. The underrated aspect of this trip is the superior coaching each program touts in Steve Alford and Leon Rice. Stop and think of the return of Alford to the Pan Am...



UNLV
San Diego State

This road trip would be the most fun not only considering basketball but also the fact that you’re in Vegas and San Diego for a weekend. UNLV is no longer the power it once was but the historic prowess and rivalry with NM State made them a no brainer addition. SDSU could argue they’re the second best program in the conference with year in, year out success. I’m sure our Aggies would enjoy a yearly trip to visit The Show as well. Don’t forget we have history with them as well considering the OT loss in the 2014 Big Dance.



Saint Mary’s
Gonzaga

The gauntlet of the conference. No one wants to make this road trip. Gonzaga is no longer a mid-major Cinderella but a real force and the flagship program that a conference like this would need. St. Mary’s is clearly a top-tier mid-major program that even with their small gym has a hell of a home court advantage.



Overall I see this as a 2 bid league on a down year and a 5 bid league on a good year with nearly no weak spot (if UTEP can pull itself together). This conference would be a force in the West with a NET ranking near the neighboring Power Five counterparts. For example, this year, this conference would have boasted two teams in the top 5 NET (Gonzaga #1, SDSU #4), Two teams in the top 50 (St. Mary’s 31, Utah State #40), and two in the top 100 (Nevada #89, Boise State #90), with NM State close behind at #104 and UNM at #143. This would have placed our dream conference around the sixth best conference in the country near the ACC and in front of the American Athletic and Atlantic 10. Not bad for some mid-majors out west!


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Jordan Banegas
14 de ago. de 2020

I couldn't have said it better, Silver.zia! Can't help but think this conference would blossom into a true power conference out west. Prestigious tradition and coaching up and down the conference.

Curtir

silver.zia20
14 de ago. de 2020

This is the dream! Every school's primary focus (save Boise St.) is basketball. Having these schools would for sure be a premier basketball conference in the west. Sign me up for that Spectrum/Pit road trip. Rivalries everywhere, tradition spewing out of every arena, conference championships under every team's belt in the last two decades. If only!! I still dream of a day where the Aggies are playing Utep or unm the last game of the season for the regular season conference championship! That's special

Curtir
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