Friday, February 8, 2013
Conference Power Rankings: MWC
By Andy Katz
After a crazy night in college basketball, here are your Mountain West rankings:
1. New Mexico. Now 20-3 overall and 7-1 in league play, the Lobos are the class of the Mountain West. A convincing win over Air Force is the latest proof. A Saturday matchup at UNLV is up next, where the Lobos can earn a possible season sweep and put to rest any question about the conference's top team.
2. Colorado State. The second spot has changed hands a few times, and now the Rams own it after winning four in a row and six of their past seven. San Diego State comes to Fort Collins next week. Huge game for what looks to me like a CSU team that will go dancing once again this year.
3. San Diego State. The Aztecs are climbing back up after beating Boise State at the buzzer. San Diego State can get healthier by beating an improved Fresno State team. Then comes a crucial road trip to Colorado State and UNLV.
4. Boise State. The Broncos beat UNLV in a late-possession game and then went to the final shot before losing at San Diego State on a tip-in. Boise State can't be put down just yet. This is a team -- remember that win at Creighton -- that is not just a pest to everyone, but a legitimate NCAA at-large candidate in its own right.
5. Air Force. The Falcons lost to New Mexico to take a bit of wind out of their sails, but they're still a surprising 5-3 in league play. A win at Nevada over the weekend would rekindle the good vibes and keep Air Force in the mix.
6. UNLV. Sorry, but the Runnin' Rebels slip here after losing at Boise State and Fresno State. There's no getting around it now: UNLV has been a disappointment to this point. Way too much talent to be outside the top four in the standings. Saturday's home game against the Lobos is a must.
7. Fresno State. Why not the Bulldogs? Fresno State beat UNLV, and it is feeling confident heading to San Diego State. This team has made a lot of progress this season.
8. Wyoming. The Cowboys were once relevant. Now, after losing four straight conference games, they are not. They're still competing, but without Luke Martinez and with all of the early-season vibes swept away, the Cowboys' postseason fortunes are dwindling.
9. Nevada. The Wolf Pack are the most disappointing team in the league. It's that simple. It has been a rough debut campaign in the Mountain West.