The West is accustomed to having outstanding college basketball teams--primarily in the Pacific 10, and more specifically in Westwood, the home of the UCLA Bruins. Alas, the Bruins are having a dismal year, as is USC. But the West still is doing quite well on the national hoop scene.
The Arizona Wildcats are No. 1 in the nation with an 18-1 record after defeating a stubborn Bruin bunch on Sunday, and are a cinch to win the conference and to lead Pac 10 teams--if there are any others--into the national collegiate tournament.
The University of Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels are a national power again, knocking off previously undefeated Temple at Leas Vegas on Sunday. The UNLV record now is 17-1. Temple's loss leaves Brigham Young University as the nation's only undefeated team, at 14-0.
BYU now leads the Western Athletic Conference, which also includes nationally ranked Texas-El Paso (16-3) and strong teams from New Mexico and Wyoming. The Cougars ended New Mexico's 13-game winning streak on the Lobos' home court over the weekend. The WAC, which includes San Diego State, has emerged this year as the West's most potent basketball conference.