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Steve Fisher: The Mountain West is a multi-bid league

Head coach Steve Fisher of the San Diego State Aztecs during the San Diego State Aztecs practice for the Sweet Sixteen round of the Division I Men's NCAA Basketball Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Photographer: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire
(Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

Steve Fisher believes the representation that the Mountain West Conference had in last year’s NCAA Tournament was an aberration.

On the heels of only having one team — Fresno State — in the field of 68 last March, Fisher is confident that the league will be in better shape moving forward.

“This is a multi-bid league,” Fisher told FanRag Sports on Tuesday night when asked about the Mountain West Conference. “I don’t know if we’re going to get five teams in the NCAA Tournament like we did in 2013, but I think two or three on an annual basis is very reasonable. New Mexico is going to be better than they were last year. They’ve got two all-conference players in Elijah Brown and Tim Williams. UNLV is going to eventually get better too, but it just may not be this year. And Nevada is going to be really, really good. They’ve got a lot of good players. We’re not a one-bid league.”

That was the case last year when the Aztecs missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009 after falling to Fresno State in the Mountain West Conference title game. 

Despite winning the league’s regular season title with a 16-2 record, San Diego State struggled in the non-conference portion of its schedule and entered league play with a 7-6 record.

“That’s the reason why we didn’t make the NCAA Tournament,” Fisher said in regards to his team’s early season struggles a year ago. “We’ve got some big games early on and so do other teams in our league. We need the other teams in our league to do well in November and December and we’ve got to do the same thing.”

San Diego State travels to Gonzaga, plays Cal in a neutral site game in Sacramento, hosts Arizona State and will also participate in the Diamond Head Classic before beginning conference play at home on Jan. 1 against New Mexico.

Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and is the lead college basketball columnist for the FanRag Sports Network. He is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks, which is available via iTunes. Rothstein is also a regular in-studio correspondent for both WFAN and CBS Sports Radio. He currently lives in Manhattan.

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