MW men’s basketball power rankings and picks

Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings heading into the final week of the regular season, along with predictions on this week’s games.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback/opinions.

1. Boise State (22-7 overall, 12-4 Mountain West): Completed a regular-season sweep of San Diego State with a road win Saturday. The Broncos have won 13 of their last 14 games and will likely be the top seed at the MW Tournament.

2. San Diego State (22-7, 12-4): The Aztecs fall based on their home loss to Boise State. Still one of the best teams in the league, but must find more offense as the postseason approaches.

3. Colorado State (24-5, 11-5): Tied for third place with red-hot Utah State, and must play the Aggies on the road Saturday. Four of five losses this season have come on the road.

4. Utah State (18-10, 11-5): Aside from Boise State, the Aggies may be the best team in the MW right now as they’ve won six straight. This team can defend, has a post presence down low and has multiple guys that can shoot the ball. Watch out for them in the postseason.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings and picks

Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings for this week, along with predictions on this week’s games.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback/opinions.

1. San Diego State (22-6 overall, 12-3 MW): Remains a solid No. 1, and got a shot in the arm with the return of Dwayne Polee II last Saturday. If Polee can make some shots, the Aztecs will be tough to beat down the stretch.

2. Boise State (20-7, 10-4): Bounced back well after its eight-game winning streak was snapped with two wins last week. One of the more underrated defensive teams in the conference. The game of the year in the MW is Saturday when the Broncos play at San Diego State Saturday.

3. Colorado State (23-5, 10-5): Like Boise State, came back from a loss with two wins last week. The Rams play the bottom two teams in the league in San Jose State and Nevada before wrapping up the regular season at Utah State March 7.

4. Wyoming (21-6, 10-4): The Cowboys have to feel good about things after winning two straight games without senior forward Larry Nance Jr., who should return this week from mononucleosis.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings/picks

Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings for this week, along with predictions on this week’s games.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback/opinions.

1. Boise State (17-6 overall, 7-3 MW): Winners of seven straight and the hottest team in the league right now. The Broncos had a convincing home win over San Diego State last week. No one is playing better in the conference right now.

2. San Diego State (18-6, 8-3): A poor shooting game at Boise State showed that despite one of the nation’s best defense, you have to make shots. Expect the Aztecs to bounce back, and a rematch with Boise State in San Diego in the coming weeks should be fun.

3. Wyoming (19-4, 8-3): The Cowboys are reeling not only on the 73-50 loss at Air Force last week, but also with the mononucleosis going around the team that sidelined senior forward Larry Nance Jr. against Air Force and redshirt freshman forward Alan Herndon the last two games. The Cowboys need to get healthy, and fast.

4. Colorado State (20-4, 7-4): A humbling loss at Wyoming last week was followed by a furious rally to beat UNLV at home. The Rams are in good shape and could moving up, but a game at San Diego State looms this week.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings/picks

Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings for this week, along with predictions on this week’s games.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback/opinions.

1. San Diego State (17-5 overall, 7-2 MW): The Aztecs move up to the top spot after a pair of home wins last week. They have the league’s best defense, but must go on the road twice this week — including a game at Boise State Sunday.

2. Boise State (15-6, 5-3): The hottest team in the MW with a five-game winning streak. Senior guard Derrick Marks leads the league in scoring (19.6 ppg) and has won the league’s player of the week honors three times. He is a front-runner for player of the year. A big week for the Broncos: at Utah State today and home against San Diego St. Sunday.

3. Colorado State (19-3, 6-3): A close loss at Boise State hurt, but the Rams are still playing well and have a lot of weapons. A rematch with Wyoming Wednesday should be one of the better games in the league this week.

4. Wyoming (18-4, 7-2): A sloppy loss at Utah State last week was uncharacteristic for the Cowboys, but they rebounded nicely at home vs. Nevada. There isn’t much separation among the top four teams. UW must do a better job of protecting the ball as it has had seven straight games with 13 or more turnovers.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings/picks

Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings for this week, along with predictions on this week’s games.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback/opinions.

1. Wyoming (17-3 overall, 6-1 MW): The Cowboys haven’t always been the most impressive looking team, but they are in first place and enter the week 3-0 in road conference games. The toughness — mentally and physically — of this team is impressive. As former Oakland Raiders coach and owner Al Davis used to say: “Just win, baby.”

2. Colorado State (18-2, 5-2): The Rams were great in a 79-73 home win over San Diego State, and have won four in a row since a 60-54 home loss to Wyoming on Jan. 7. A road game Tuesday at Boise State will be interesting.

3. San Diego State (15-5, 5-2): Nearly completed the comeback at Colorado State, and still by far the best defensive team in the conference. Key will be if this team can shoot the ball. If it is just average, it will win most — if not all — of its remaining games.

4. Boise State (14-6, 4-3): Winners of four straight and figuring out how to win close games. Tough to say this team is better without leading scorer Anthony Drmic — out with a season-ending ankle injury. But the Broncos are playing good basketball, and senior guard Derrick Marks is making a case as the league’s player of the year. He leads the MW in scoring (19.2 ppg).

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings for this week, along with predictions on this week’s games.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback/opinions.

1. San Diego State  (14-4 overall, 4-1 MW): The only team to beat Wyoming in conference play, and did it in impressive fashion in Laramie. Still an offensively challenged team, but it can play defense. Watch out if the Aztecs become just an average shooting squad.

2. Wyoming (16-3, 5-1): Not far behind the Aztecs, and both teams are similar when it comes to offense and defense. The Cowboys responded well after the loss to San Diego State with their triple overtime win at Fresno State. UW is the only unbeaten team in league play on the road (3-0).

3. Colorado State (17-2, 4-2): After a loss to Wyoming Jan. 7 the Rams have won three straight, and won their last two games by a combined 77 points. A home game with San Diego State Saturday is huge.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings/picks

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi offers his final Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings heading into the final week of the regular season. As always, your feedback is encouraged.

1. No. 23 New Mexico (23-5 overall, 14-2 MW: The Lobos remain No. 1 this week and owns a home win over San Diego State. However, the two teams will decide the regular-season title in San Diego on Saturday.

2. No. 10 San Diego State (25-3, 14-2): On the heels of New Mexico, but the final week of the regular season won’t be easy with a road game at UNLV and then home with New Mexico.

3. UNLV (19-10, 10-6): Went 2-0 last week and despite a close loss at Boise State, the Runnin’ Rebels jump the Broncos this week. Still never know if you will see the good UNLV or bad UNLV from game to game.

4. Boise State (19-10, 9-7): A 20-point loss at Fresno State was surprising, but the Broncos did a good job of rallying from an early deficit to win at Wyoming last week.

5. Fresno State (15-15, 8-9): Despite two teams ahead of the Bulldogs in the standings, they are still playing some good basketball, at least better than most of the teams below them.

6. Wyoming (17-12, 8-8): The Cowboys have lost three straight without junior forward Larry Nance Jr. Their margin of error was small to begin with, and just got a lot smaller. Wins will be tough to come by from here on out.

7. Nevada (13-16, 8-8): Eight conference wins is a big improvement for the Wold Pack, but the wins have been hard to come by in the second half of the conference season.

8. Colorado State (15-14, 6-10): Obviously, the Rams’ records indicates they are beatable. But nothing comes easy against this team.

9. Utah State (16-13, 6-11): Many have to be surprised where the Aggies are at.

10 Air Force (11-16, 5-11): A road win at Wyoming was nice for the Falcons, who will return virtually everyone next season. They will be better in the future.

11. San Jose State (7-21, 1-15): Like Air Force, better days will come for the Spartans.

 

This week’s picks (winners in bold)

Wednesday

San Jose State at Colorado State, 7 p.m. (Mountain West Network)

Air Force at New Mexico, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

Nevada at Boise State, 7 p.m. (Mountain West Network)

Wyoming at Utah State, 8 p.m. (Root Sports)

San Diego State at UNLV, 9 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Saturday

Boise State at Air Force, Noon (Root Sports)

Colorado State at Wyoming, 2 p.m. (Root Sports)

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

UNLV at Nevada, 8 p.m.

New Mexico at San Diego State, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Last week: 8-2

 

 

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. 25 New Mexico (21-5 overall, 12-2 MW: The Lobos jump San Diego State this week based on their home win over the Aztecs last Saturday. Junior post Cameron Bairstow is the leading candidate for Player of the Year in the conference.

2. No. 13 San Diego State (23-3, 12-2): Drops out of No. 1 for the first time this season. The defense is still there, but the inconsistencies shooting the ball will hurt the Aztecs if that doesn’t straighten itself out.

3. Boise State (18-9, 8-6): The Broncos are making a run up the standings, and wins at Colorado State and at home against UNLV in overtime were huge. They seem to be finding ways to win close games, a problem early in the season.

4. UNLV (17-10, 8-6): A rough week for the Runnin’ Rebels with two losses. When the Rebels are good, they are really good. When they’re not, well …

5. Wyoming (17-10, 8-6): Wins will be hard to come by without junior forward Larry Nance Jr. A win Tuesday at home against Air Force is much-needed.

6. Fresno State (14-14, 7-8): Wyoming ended its five-game winning streak, but the team bounced back with an impressive road win at Utah State. Bulldogs are playing their best basketball.

7. Nevada (13-15, 8-7): The Wolf Pack are not any higher based on a home loss last week to last-place San Jose State. It snapped a five-game losing streak at Air Force, but this team is tough to get a read on right now.

8. Colorado State (15-13, 6-9): If the Rams shoot like they did in their 82-69 home win over Wyoming last Saturday they will be tough to beat. A road game at UNLV Wednesday will be a big test.

9. Utah State (15-12, 5-10): Never thought the Aggies would be this low, and they have road games at New Mexico and San Jose State this week.

10. Air Force (10-15, 4-10): The Falcons are reeling, but have to feel they can go up to Wyoming Tuesday and win. A somewhat dangerous team if they can make some shots, but that has been a struggle lately.

11. San Jose State (7-19, 1-13): Great to see the Spartans get their first MW win at Nevada last week, but that wasn’t enough to get them out of the basement of the rankings.

 

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

Tuesday

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

Utah State at New Mexico, 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

San Jose State at San Diego State, 9 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Wednesday

Boise State at Fresno State, 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Colorado State at UNLV, 9 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Saturday

UNLV at Air Force, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)

Boise State at Wyoming, 4 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

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

San Diego State at Fresno State, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Sunday

New Mexico at Nevada, 4 p.m. (ESPN3)

Last week: 6-4

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 (21-1 overall, 10-0 MW): The winning streak is up to 20 games, the defense is as stingy as ever and senior guard Xavier Thames is in the mix for MW Player of the Year. Tuesday’s game at Wyoming could be tricky.

2. New Mexico (18-4, 9-1): The Lobos and Aztecs play twice still. New Mexico has won seven straight. A game at Boise State Wednesday is intriguing, even though Boise State has lost three straight.

3. UNLV (16-8, 7-4): A 75-57 loss at Colorado State was surprising, at least the final margin. Still, the Rebels are tied for third place in the conference standings despite inconsistent play night in and night out. But when the Rebels are clicking, look out.

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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.

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