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. 6 San Diego State (22-2 overall, 11-1 MW): There was the 68-62 loss at Wyoming last Tuesday, but the Aztecs came back with a home win over Air Force and fell just one spot in the AP poll. Still the best team in the league with the best defense. Needs to shoot the ball better on a consistent basis.
2. New Mexico (19-5, 10-2):The Lobos had a chance to move into a tie with San Diego State in the league standings, but lost a close one at Boise State. New Mexico and San Diego State still play twice before the regular season ends.
3. UNLV (17-8, 8-4): Winners of six of its last seven games. The Runnin’ Rebels get New Mexico at home on Wednesday and play at Boise State Saturday. Those games will loom large if they hope to make a run at a top two finish.
4. Wyoming (16-9, 7-5): The Cowboys’ upset of No. 5 San Diego State last week was their most impressive win of the season. UW plays four of its final six regular-season games at home. Junior guard Riley Grabau, the MW Player of the Week, has made at least three 3-pointers in six consecutive games. He leads the league in 3-point shooting percentage (47.7 percent) and free-throw percentage (90 percent).
5. Boise State (16-9, 6-6): A 71-70 home win over New Mexico last week may start the ball rolling down the stretch for the Broncos. They are capable of winning out and making another push at an NCAA Tournament bid.
6. Fresno State (13-13, 6-7): The Bulldogs have the longest current winning streak in the league at five. They are athletic and long, but are on the road this week at Wyoming and Utah State where are they are 2-4 in the MW and 3-8 overall.
7. Utah State (15-10, 5-8): A home loss to UNLV snapped a three-game winning streak, but the Aggies are playing better basketball. We will see how good with a game at San Diego State Tuesday and hosting Fresno State Saturday.
8. Nevada (12-14, 7-6): The Wolf Pack is reeling having lost four straight, but they should get better — and stay in the upper half of the league standings — with a home game with San Jose State and a road contest at Air Force.
9. Colorado State (14-12, 5-8): Rough week for the Rams with a home loss to Utah State and a road loss at Fresno State. Still a tough team to play and to beat when things are clicking.
10. Air Force (10-14, 4-9): Teams can’t take the Falcons for granted, but the wins have been tough to come by. Better days are ahead for this team.
11. San Jose State (6-19, 0-13): The Spartans need more of an inside presence, but did a good job containing Wyoming’s Larry Nance Jr. last Saturday (six points). If the Spartans get hot from outside, they could win.
This week’s picks (teams in bold are predicted to win)
Boise State at Colorado State, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Fresno State at Wyoming, 7:05 p.m. (Root Sports)
San Jose State at Nevada, 8 p.m. (Mountain West Network — online only)
Utah State at San Diego State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
New Mexico at UNLV, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Nevada at Air Force, 2 p.m. (Mountain West Network — online only)
Wyoming at Colorado State, 4 p.m. (Root Sports)
UNLV at Boise State, 6 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Fresno State at Utah State, 7 p.m. (Mountain West Network — online only)
San Diego State at New Mexico, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Last week: 5-5 (Yikes!!)