Chris Dobbertean of Blogging the Bracket is SB Nation's College Basketball guru. He does Bracketology every Tuesday and Bubble Watch every Friday. This week's Bubble Watch features New Mexico making the jump onto the bubble from last week's issue. I definitely encourage you to read Dobbertean's full analysis since it is very thourough.
New Mexico made it back into the bubble picture as was expected with a home win over BYU last Saturday.
The Lobos returned to the bubble picture with a home win over BYU, but still have a lot to do to earn their way into the field, thanks to non-conference season that featured some disappointing losses and a whole slew of wins that haven't panned out from a quality perspective. The remaining schedule isn't kind to New Mexico either, as they only welcome one MWC contender, UNLV, to the Pit, meaning road trips to San Diego State, BYU, and Colorado State remain. This is just another team that will have to earn its way into the field.
Both the Lobos and Colorado State are in the group "Work to do." Chris Dobbertean says that the Rams will need to go 3-1 against the top of the MWC in the second half of the conference season in order to make the field.
The Rams' biggest issue is a pair of very questionable losses, one at home to Sam Houston State Thanksgiving weekend, and another against Hampton in San Francisco over New Year's. A Cancun Governor's Cup crown provides a little bit of a boost, but not much, thanks to the relative weakness of that inaugural field. Colorado State will have to take care of business in the Mountain West to earn a bid, a task made more difficult by Wednesday's last second home loss to San Diego State. To get in, Tim Miles' team will need to sweep their four remaining games against the bottom four in the league, take advantage of UNLV and New Mexico's visits to Moby Arena, and possibly steal a game at either BYU or San Diego State.
He considers both BYU and San Diego State to be locks, but he says that the only reason UNLV isn't a lock is because the Rebels big wins simply haven't panned out.
UNLV could really use a win against either BYU or San Diego State to make the committee's decision simple, and they happen to get a chance against each over the next two Saturdays, with the game against the Aztecs taking place at home. While the Rebels own a nice win over Wisconsin, they really need Kansas State, Virginia Tech, and New Mexico to play well to boost the quality of those three victories.
One potential issue for UNLV (besides a December 15th home loss to UC Santa Barbara): they must play five of their last eight away from the Thomas & Mack, starting with Saturday's game against BYU.
I'll have a post up later today about different NCAA Tournament scenarios for the Mountain West teams.
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