MW men’s basketball power rankings/picks

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi offers his weekly 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 (19-1 overall, 8-0 MW): The Aztecs have won 18 straight games, has not lost a MW road game and lead the nation in field-goal percentage defense (36.2 percent).

2. New Mexico (17-4, 8-1): The Lobos are 5-0 in MW road games and have won five straight overall. Junior center Alex Kirk (shin) is back and they are getting more contributions from their bench.

3. UNLV (15-7, 6-3): Winners of four straight, the Runnin’ Rebels are still inconsistent, but they are figuring out ways to win games. UNLV struggled to win on the road in league play last season, but is 3-1 this season.

4. Nevada (12-10, 7-2): Remains in third place in the league standings after winning two home games last week. But things get more difficult this week at Utah State Wednesday and at San Diego State Saturday.

5. Wyoming (14-7, 5-3): A road loss at Fresno State stung, but the Cowboys rebounded well with its most complete conference win of the season at home against Utah State. But games at New Mexico and UNLV loom this week, followed by a home game with San Diego State.

6. Boise State (15-7, 5-4): If some close games went the other way, the Broncos would be in the top three in the league standings. If the Broncos want to return to the NCAA Tournament this season it needs to win more of those close games. A win Wednesday at home against San Diego State wouldn’t hurt, either.

7. Colorado State (12-10, 3-6): The Rams aren’t winning a lot, but they are not easy wins for teams, either. Don’t sleep on this team because it can play with any team in this league and will pull off some upsets before the season ends.

8. Fresno State (9-13, 2-7): Another team that has had some bad fortune in close games. The Bulldogs are athletic and play hard. They also will beat some teams they aren’t expected to.

9. Utah State (12-9, 2-7): Still baffled why the Aggies have struggled, but those five straight losses have come against — in no particular order — to San Diego State, New Mexico, UNLV, Boise State and Wyoming. Utah State won’t finish this low by season’s end.

10. Air Force (9-11, 3-6): The Falcons have lost four in a row, but get to stay at home this week with games against Fresno State and Colorado State. Getting sophomore guard Tre’ Coggins back will be key. He missed last week’s road games due to a violation of academy standards.

11. San Jose State (6-16, 0-10): Losers of 10 straight. No where to go but up, however, it’s going to be tough to do that this season.

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

Wednesday

Fresno State at Air Force, 7 p.m. (Mountain West Network — online)

UNLV at Colorado State, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

Nevada at Utah State, 7 p.m. (Root Sports)

San Diego State at Boise State, 7:15 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Wyoming at New Mexico, 9:05 p.m. (ESPNU)

Saturday

Colorado State at Air Force, 2 p.m. (Mountain West Network — online only)

Boise State at Utah State, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network

San Jose State at Fresno State, 5 p.m. (Mountain West Network — online only)

Nevada at San Diego State, 8 p.m., (ESPN3)

Wyoming at UNLV, 8 p.m. (ESPN3)

Last week: 7-3