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Has a Mountain West team ever won the NCAA Tournament?

The Aztecs are looking to become the first since the conference was formed.

Lamont Butler #5 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates with teammates after making a game winning basket to defeat the Florida Atlantic Owls 72-71 during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game at NRG Stadium on April 01, 2023 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The San Diego State Aztecs are headed to the National Championship Game of the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The fifth-seeded Aztecs stunned the ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic Owls with a buzzer-beater to advance. They’ll face the winner of UConn vs. Miami in Monday’s title game.

This marks the first time a Mountain West team has earned a spot in the men’s basketball national championship. It was already the first time a Mountain West team has earned a spot in the Final Four. Prior to this year, San Diego State’s best tournament performance was Sweet 16 appearances in 2011 and 2014.

There is a bit of an asterisk to the Mountain West fact. UNLV won the national title in 1990, beating Duke 103-73 in the title game. It gets an asterisk because the Mountain West did not exist at that time, and UNLV was playing in the Big West. That was also the last time a non-major program won the tournament. The last time a west coast team won it was in 1995 when UCLA beat Arkansas.