MW men’s basketball power rankings

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams entering the second week of conference play. Look for these rankings on a weekly basis throughout the conference season. RPI numbers are from as of Jan. 1.

1. Nevada (13-3, 2-0 MW, 22 RPI): Started conference play with an impressive win at Fresno State, followed by a surprisingly close win at home over New Mexico. Still a solid No. 1 in these rankings, but for the Wolf Pack to survive the rigors of conference play, it needs to get more out of its bench. Games this week: vs. Wyoming, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday (CBS Sports Network); at Air Force, noon Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

2. Boise State (12-2, 2-0, 26 RPI): An impressive first weekend of conference play, including a road win at UNLV. Nevada may be a solid No. 1 in these rankings, but the Broncos are not far behind. Boise state averages an impressive 88 points per game. Games this week: vs. New Mexico, 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3 — online); at Wyoming, 6 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

3. Wyoming (10-4, 1-0, 73 RPI): A nice home win over San Diego State to start conference play last week, and now the Cowboys face the two teams ahead of them in these rankings this week. We will learn a lot more about Wyoming this week. Games this week: at Nevada, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday (CBS SportsNetwork); vs. Boise State, 6 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

4. San Diego State (9-4, 1-1, 57 RPI): A split to start league play last week, which most teams will take week in and week out. The Aztecs have to make another trip to the frigid Front Range this week in its lone game this week. Game this week: at Colorado State, p.m. Tuesday (CBS SportsNetwork).

5. Fresno State (11-4, 1-1, 154 RPI): Was a little surprised the Bulldogs lost by 15 points at home to Nevada in their conference opener. Now, they must go on the road for games this week in the Mountain Time Zone. It takes toughness to win on the road, and Fresno State has what it takes … or we shall see. Games this week: at Utah State, 7 p.m. Wednesday (MW Network — online); at Colorado State, 3:30 p.m. Saturday (CBS SportsNetwork).

6. UNLV (11-3, 0-1, 112 RPI): A weak nonconference schedule may have hurt the Rebels as they lost their MW opener at home last Saturday to Boise State. No shame in losing to the Broncos home or away, but perhaps myself and others jumped on UNLV’s bandwagon a little too soon. I still think this is a good team, but maybe not ready yet for prime time. Games this week: at San Jose State, 9 p.m. Wednesday (AT&T SportsNet); vs. Utah State, 8 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

7. Colorado State (8-7, 1-1, 117 RPI): An expected split last week losing to Boise State and beating San Jose State — both on the road. Two home games this week against good teams will tell us a lot more about the Rams. Games this week: vs. San Diego State, 7 p.m. Tuesday (CBS SportsNetwork); vs. Fresno State, 3:30 p.m. Saturday (CBS SportsNetwork).

8. Utah State (8-7, 1-1, 217 RPI): Like Colorado State, a solid split last week for the Aggies. Would like to see what this team can do with completely healthy. Utah State may struggle holding its own inside against teams, but once its guards are healthy and playing well it won’t be an easy team to beat. Games this week: vs. Fresno State, 7 p.m. Wednesday (MW Network — online); at UNLV, 8 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

9. New Mexico (6-9, 1-1, 210 RPI): A blowout win at home over Air Force and a three-point road loss at Nevada makes me think the Lobos aren’t as bad as many think. Not saying they’re ready to contend for a league title, but I also don’t think they are the pushover some expected. Games this week: at Boise State, 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3 — online); vs. San Jose State, 7 p.m. Saturday (MW Network — online).

10. Air Force (6-8, 0-2, 323 RPI): No shame in losing at New Mexico and Fresno State. Still thought we’d see more from the Falcons at this point, but I still believe there is enough talent on this team for it to win some games in this conference. However, I don’t believe it will come this week. Game this week: vs. Nevada, noon Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

11. San Jose State (3-10, 0-2, 299 RPI): Tough to think the Spartans will move out of this spot this season. Games this week: vs. UNLV, 9 p.m. Wednesday (AT&T SportsNet); at New Mexico, 7 p.m. Saturday (MW Network — online).

This week’s picks (winners bolded)


San Diego State at Colorado State, 7 p.m.


Fresno State at Utah State, 7 p.m.

New Mexico at Boise State, 7 p.m.

Wyoming at Nevada, 8:30 p.m.

UNLV at San Jose State, 9 p.m.


Nevada at Air Force, Noon

Fresno State at Colorado State, 3:30 p.m.

Boise State at Wyoming, 6 p.m.

San Jose State at New Mexico, 7 p.m.

Utah State at UNLV, 8 p.m.

Last week: 6-4