MW men’s hoops power rankings/picks

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi offers his Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings. Look for these rankings once a week through the end of the regular season. As always, your feedback is encouraged.

1. No. 5 San Diego State (18-1 overall, 7-0 MW): Still the clear-cut No. 1. The Aztecs have won 17 straight, lead the league in scoring defense (56.1 ppg) and has a conference-best scoring margin if plus-18.1 per game.

2. New Mexico (15-4, 6-1): Got past Colorado State last Saturday without junior center Alex Kirk (foot). The Lobos need him back, especially Tuesday at Utah State.

3. Wyoming (13-6, 4-2): The Cowboys make the biggest jump this week as they have won four straight, the second-longest winning streak in the conference right now.

4. Boise State (14-6, 4-3): The Broncos are lurking and still one of the more solid teams in the conference. Post Ryan Watkins is one of the more underrated players in the league.

5. Nevada (10-10, 5-2): The Wolf Pack needs to play better at home (4-5), and faces a big home game Wednesday against Colorado State.

6. UNLV (13-7, 4-3): Picked up wins last week against Utah State and Fresno State. Should make it three in a row Wednesday at San Jose State. A home game Saturday against Boise State is a big one.

7. Colorado State (12-8, 3-4): All four of the Rams’ conference losses have been by 10 points or less. Junior guard J.J. Avila is emerging into a star.

8. Air Force (9-9, 3-4): The Falcons have lost two straight and are on the road this week at Boise State and Nevada.

9. Utah State (12-7, 2-5): Surprising the Aggies are where they are, but there is a lot of room to move up. Took San Diego State to overtime at home last Saturday. The Aggies get New Mexico at home Tuesday and go to Wyoming Saturday.

10. Fresno State (8-13, 1-7): Don’t let the record fool you, the Bulldogs can play with anyone in the MW, but they need to learn to finish games.

11. San Jose State (6-14, 0-8): The Spartans have lost eight straight and get UNLV and New Mexico this week. Yikes!

This week’s picks¬†(teams in bold are predicted to win)

Tuesday

New Mexico at Utah State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

Wednesday

Air Force at Boise State, 7 p.m. (Root Sports)

Colorado State at Nevada, 8 p.m. (MWN — online)

Wyoming at Fresno State, 8 p.m. (MWN — online)

UNLV at San Jose State, 8 p.m. (ESPN3 — online)

Saturday

Air Force at Nevada, 4 p.m. (MWN — online)

Utah State at Wyoming, 4 p.m. (Root Sports)

Colorado State at San Diego State, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)

Boise State at UNLV, 6 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

San Jose State at New Mexico, 6 p.m. (Root Sports)

Last week: 9-1