I have really enjoyed the comments and feedback on my weekly MW men’s basketball power rankings. Here’s what I got heading into this week’s MW Tournament.
1. No. 21 San Diego State (24-6, 10-4): The Aztecs won back-to-back road games at Boise State and TCU to capture the first seed in the conference tournament. Impressive late-season run by the Aztecs with only seven scholarship players that see playing time.
2. New Mexico (24-6, 10-4): The Lobos should have and did easily defeat Air Force and Boise State last week. This team isn’t far back from San Diego State, and this is the week their depth should help by having to win three games in three days to win the MW Tournament. I still think this is the team to beat in the tournament.
3. No. 20 UNLV (25-7, 9-5): OK, UNLV probably is the tournament favorite with it being on its home floor. As in the past, there’s not much separation between the top three teams in this conference. I still think this is the most talented team in the MW.
4. Colorado State (10-19, 8-6): Impressive come-from-behind win at home over UNLV and FINALLY its first conference road win at Air Force last week. Now, can CSU show this in Las Vegas at the tournament?
5. TCU (17-13, 7-7): Beat everyone in the MW at least once. Like CSU, can it play the way it has at home in Vegas?
6. Wyoming: 20-10, 6-8): Still playing good defense and inconsistent offensively. Because of its defense, no one wants to play the Cowboys in the postseason. If the offense can be more consistent, UW can be a tough out in the tournament.
7. Air Force (13-15, 3-11): Congratulations to Dave Pilipovich, who had the interim tag removed and will be the Falcons’ full-time coach. Like how he’s used different players since he took over. Team playing with more energy.
8. Boise State (13-16, 3-11): If its shooters get hot this team is dangerous. But injuries, illness and off-the-court issues continue to hurt this team. Better days are coming.
See Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for more on Wyoming and MW basketball, including what other coaches (other than UW’s Larry Shyatt) are saying about UNLV getting to play the conference tournament on its home floor.