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Conference Realignment: Gonzaga and Mountain West have discussed expansion

The Mountain West has had talks about adding the WCC’s biggest power.

NCAA Basketball: Pepperdine at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga and the Mountain West have had discussions about potentially adding the Bulldogs, according to a report from the San Diego Tribune’s Mark Ziegler.

According to the report, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson has been in contact with Gonzaga about leaving the West Coast Conference for the Mountain West. Thompson states:

“I have spoken to six university presidents and/or athletic directors that have called inquiring about whether we are going to expand, and the Zags are one of them.

Although the discussions are still in the exploratory stage, it’s clear that the Mountain West is looking too boost its basketball profile. Thompson also stated that BYU - which was a member of the Mountain West up until 2011 - would also consider a return to the conference if Gonzaga were to join.

A potential move makes sense for Gonzaga, given their string of dominance over the WCC since the turn of the century. The move would be primarily financially driven, as Gonzaga has long been the cash cow for the conference.

The report states that the move could come as early as next season, but it’s obviously still early in the discussions. This will be one of the key storylines to keep an eye on heading into the offseason.