MW men’s basketball power rankings entering final week of regular season

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams heading into this week’s games, which is the final week of the regular season. RPI numbers are from NCAA.com for games through Feb. 25.

  1. No. 21 Nevada (25-5 overall, 14-2 MW, 15 RPI): The Wolf Pack clinched the MW regular-season title, and has won five in a row. One might of thought the season-ending injury to point guard Lindsey Drew would spell trouble, but this team keeps on rolling. However, two tough road games await. Games this week: at UNLV, 9 p.m. Wednesday (CBS Sports Network); at San Diego State, 8 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network)

2. Boise State (22-6, 12-4, 45 RPI): Remains strong at the No. 2 spot, but capable of taking over No. 1. The gap between the top two teams and the rest of the league is quite large. Games this week: at San Diego State, 9 p.m. Tuesday (CBS Sports Network); vs. Wyoming, 5 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet)

3. San Diego State (17-10, 9-7, 108 RPI): Watch out for the Aztecs. They’ve won four in a row and playing their best basketball of the season. They also get the top two teams in the MW at home to conclude the regular season. Games this week: vs. Boise State, 9 p.m. Tuesday (CBS Sports Network); vs. Nevada, 8 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network)

4. New Mexico (15-14, 10-6, 150 RPI): The Lobos move up three spots from last week after two wins, and they’ve won three in a row. New Mexico is the surprise team in the MW this season, and is only going to get better in the future. First-year boss Paul Weir should be the MW Coach of the Year. Games this week: at Colorado State, 7 p.m. Wednesday (AT&T SportsNet); vs. Fresno State, 7 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3 — online)

5. Wyoming (18-11, 9-7, 88 RPI): After playing absolutely no defense in a 119-114 home loss to New Mexico, the Cowboys played their best defensive game in conference play with a 78-68 win at Fresno State — a team that came into Laramie a few weeks ago and won by 18. This team has shown it can play some good basketball, but can it be more consistent down the stretch? Games this week: vs. Air Force, 7 p.m. Wednesday (MW Network — online); at Boise State, 5 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet)

6. Fresno State (20-9, 10-6, 96 RPI): The Bulldogs had their five-game winning streak snapped at home against Wyoming. This may be a little low in the rankings, but the loss to Wyoming (no disrespect to the Cowboys) was a head-scratcher. Games this week: at Air Force, 7 p.m. Monday (MW Network — online); at New Mexico, 7 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3 — online)

7. UNLV (19-10, 8-8, 129 RPI): The Runnin’ Rebels are reeling having lost three in a row. The final week of the regular season does them no favors. Games this week: vs. Nevada, 9 p.m. Wednesday (CBS Sports Network); at Utah State, 7 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3 — online)

8. Air Force (11-16, 5-10, 234 RPI): Head-to-head play has some bearing in these rankings, but not always. But in this case, the Falcons’ home win over Utah State moved them past the Aggies. Games this week: vs. Fresno State, 7 p.m. Monday (MW Network — online); vs. San Jose State, 2 p.m. Saturday (MW Network)

9. Utah State (14-15, 7-9, 149 RPI): Like many teams in the MW, the Aggies have shown they can play with any team in the league, but there also have been some games they should have won but didn’t. Games this week: at San Jose State, 8 p.m. Wednesday (MW Network); vs. UNLV, 7 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3 — online)

10. Colorado State (11-19, 4-13, 215 RPI): The Rams have lost nine of their last 10 games, and after getting junior guard J.D. Paige back from a broken hand he was suspended for a violation of team rules. This season has been a disaster. Game this week: vs. New Mexico, 7 p.m. Wednesday (AT&T SportsNet)

11. San Jose State (3-24, 0-16, 305 RPI): Even though the record is abysmal, the Spartans are in better shape right now and in the future than Colorado State. Doesn’t do them a whole lot of good right now, however. Games this week: vs. Utah State, 8 p.m. Wednesday (MW Network — online); at Air Force, 2 p.m. Saturday (MW Network — online)

This week’s picks (winners bolded)

Monday

Fresno State at Air Force, 7 p.m.

Tuesday

Boise State at San Diego State, 9 p.m.

Wednesday

Air Force at Wyoming, 7 p.m.

New Mexico at Colorado State, 7 p.m.

Utah State at San Jose State, 8 p.m.

Nevada at UNLV, 9 p.m.

Saturday

San Jose State at Air Force, 2 p.m.

Wyoming at Boise State, 5 p.m.

Fresno State at New Mexico, 7 p.m.

UNLV at Utah State, 7 p.m.

Nevada at San Diego State, 8 p.m.

Last week: 8-2

For the season (conference games only): 61-27