A bracket featuring all 17 of the UTEP men's basketball teams to reach the NCAA Tournament. Does any other Miner team have what it takes to beat the heavy favorite 1966 National Champions for the title of Greatest Miner team ever?? Probably not, but it'd be fun to imagine these matchups!
I love all Miner athletics, but Miner basketball is special. For Miner basketball fanatics like myself, April marks the beginning of a summer’s worth of waiting, hoping, and speculating for the next season. An embarrassing amount of my time during the summer is spent wondering about who the UTEP men’s and women’s teams will schedule and whether Coach Adams or Floyd have been able to convince any top programs to visit the Don. But rather than speculate about the future, I’ve decided to spend this summer reflecting on the past. Below are the seedings for a bracket I’ve devised that features all 17 past Miner teams that made the NCAA Tournament. It’s really hard to remain objective in the seeding of teams from different eras, so the seedings are according to their winning percentages from their given year. 16 is an ideal number for a tournament, but since the Miners have had 17 tourney teams, I had to include a play-in game.
(1) 1966 Texas Western Miners, Winning %- .967
(2) 1964 Texas Western Miners .893
(3) 1984 UTEP Miners .871
(4) 1986 UTEP Miners .818
(5) 1992 UTEP Miners .794
(6) 1989 UTEP Miners .788
(7) 2010 UTEP Miners .788
(8) 1967 UTEP Miners .786
(9) 1987 UTEP Miners .781
(10) 2005 UTEP Miners .771
(11) 1975 UTEP Miners .769
(12) 2004 UTEP Miners .750
(13) 1963 Texas Western Miners .731
(14) 1988 UTEP Miners .697
(15) 1985 UTEP Miners .687
(16) 1970 UTEP Miners .680
(17) 1990 UTEP Miners .656
So here’s how the Ultimate Miners Bracket will work. Each Tuesday I’ll post the matchup for the week, which will includes rosters and stats. There will be a poll at the bottom of the page where MinerRush readers can vote for which year’s Miner team they think would win in a head-to-head matchup. Tie goes to the team who advanced further in the NCAA Tournament. Second tie-breaker goes to the team with the higher overall winning percentage. Hopefully I'm not the only Miner fan voting on this thing, because if I am, then the tournament will likely favor the more recent Miner teams. Sound like a fun idea?? I think so. Speculating about the Miner teams of the past is my pastime.
*I’m not going to post an actual bracket, but imagine one of the four regions from the NCAA Tournament. There’s a play-in game between the last two seeded teams. The 1 seed plays the winner of that play-in game. The rest of the first round matchups are as follows: 8 vs 9, 5 vs 12, 4 vs 13, 3 vs 14, 6 vs 11, 7 vs 10, and 2 vs 15.
Next Monday April 9th, I’ll post the first matchup: The Play-in game between the Tiny Archibald-led 1970 Miners and the post-Tim Hardaway 1990 Miners. Stay tuned.