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By Ian Cutler

March 15, 2022

This year's Mountain West Conference basketball championships had extra meaning.

The MW celebrated unity and inclusion by establishing both the Women's and Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Games as “Unity Games,” while coming together through RISE to take a stand against racism.

Collegiate athletes across all sports and various member schools united to take the RISE Pledge to End Racism and leveraged the platform of the conference's basketball championship games to encourage fans to do the same. A video of athletes taking the pledge was played inside the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas during both the women's and men's championship games on March 9 and March 12, respectively, and amplified across conference and school social media platforms. Individual member schools also created their own RISE Pledge videos, demonstrating their commitment to be Champions of Change.

All four teams competing in the men's and women's championship games also wore special unity-themed warm-ups before tip-off.

In 2022, RISE and the MW partnered to empower students, athletes and administrators to be leaders for addressing matters of racism, diversity, equity and inclusion on their campuses and beyond. In January, RISE met with members of the MW Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and led a workshop on Understanding Our Identities, and in February led a session on Race, Racism and Anti-Racism with administrators across the conference.

On Sunday, four teams from the MW earned spots in the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In addition to conference champion Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming will also participate, giving the conference its most teams in the tournament since 2013. UNLV won the women's championship and will be the lone team representing the MW in the 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

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