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Realignment, Spinal Tap and the Mountain West tournament

May 4, 2013, 5:01 PM EST

Jordan Stone, Matt Staff AP

I found this on IMDB.com, on the quotes page for the legendary 1984 film This is Spinal Tap:

Nigel Tufnel: You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.

Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

Going to eleven might be a great idea for rock n’ roll, but how does it work for an athletic conference? Given that extra push over the cliff, the coaches of the Mountain West, which will add Utah State and San Jose State next season, are debating how to make the postseason tournament work. Not content with ten, they’re willing to “put it up to eleven” by co-opting the play-in game concept that the NCAA tourney has used recently.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the league’s coaches like the following idea:

The current format has one play-in game the league dubs the “opening round,” but the new proposal would push that round from two teams to six for both the men’s and the women’s brackets.

Nevertheless, the league’s coaches want to push forward with an all-inclusive tournament format that would look like this:

Round 1:

♦ No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 seed;

♦ No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed;

♦ No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed.

Quarterfinals:

♦ No. 1 vs. No. 8/9 winner;

♦ No. 2 vs. No. 7/10 winner;

♦ No. 3 vs. No. 6/11 winner;

♦ No. 4 vs. No. 5.

The semifinals and championship round would remain the same.

The league’s Board of Directors will consider the coaches’ preferred plan, as well as at least two proposals that would leave teams out of the postseason mix if they fail to place in the league’s upper echelons. A nine-team and ten-team model has been suggested for those other options.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

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