Mountain West may be toughest conference in college basketball

LAS VEGAS — At one point during the Wyoming-Boise State Mountain West semifinal game Friday night, Cowboys coach Jeff Linder called out a play for his team to run. Immediately, a staffer on the Broncos bench who was watching Linder reacted, shouting out the defensive counterpunch.

There are no secrets. Both teams knew each other’s plays, knew each other’s tendencies and probably knew what kind of toothpaste they prefer. That’s life in many conferences come March, when teams often are meeting for the third time, but the Mountain West this year has taken it to another level. This conference has never been better—more good coaches, more good players, more good teams capable of scouting each other into defensive stalemates.

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