Mountain West Basketball Previews, Open Thread

Today's schedule:

No. 13 UNLV Runnin' Rebels at Wyoming Cowboys 4 p.m. ET (The Mtn.)

New Mexico Lobos at Boise St. Broncos 4 p.m. ET (NBC Sports)

Air Force Falcons at Colorado St. Rams 5 p.m. ET (CBS College Sports)

TCU Horned Frogs at No. 17 San Diego St. Aztecs 10 p.m. ET (The Mtn.)

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There are four games today in Mountain West play with the biggest game being UNLV at Wyoming. Wyoming is always a tough team at home to play and they could really use a marquee win to get on the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble. UNLV has defeated Wyoming 15 of 17, however this year UNLV has struggled on the road as they needed overtime to defeat Air Force and Boise State. Wyoming is a better team than those two and has a much better home court edge. The school is trying to make this game eclipse the 10,000 fan mark.

Wyoming is no doubt the toughest road trip in the Mountain West, and UNLV had to alter their plans due to a snow storm in Denver. The storm caused UNLV to detour to Casper, Wyo., and then bus in 150 miles. UNLV assistant coach Heath Schroyer is making his first visit back to his old school and knows what it takes for opposing team to win at Wyoming:

"It's hard to get there, No. 1," Schroyer said. "I think that's a huge advantage they've always had there. Teams need to really utilize their depth and play a lot of people, but we play a lot of people anyway."

Also being one year removed from being Wyoming's head coach Schroyer has some extra info for the scouting report.

One thing that Wyoming will try to do is slow down the pace of the game and those grind it out game are the games that UNVL has struggled in this year.

AccuScore prediction: They predict Wyoming to win 52.7 percent of the time, but they predict the final score to be 65.1 to 64.4 favoring UNLV.

New Mexico is trying to become ranked for the first time this year, but before they can do that they need to get past Boise State who is actually very good at home this year as they are 10-3. However, Boise State has lost seven straight games and is still winless in Mountain West play. If Boise State can control the tempo then they should be able to keep this close, but I expect New Mexico to get the win.

AccuScore prediction: They have New Mexico winning 67.5 percent of the time by an average score of 72.5 to 66.5, so if this is right this should be a decent game.

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Air Force and Colorado State may not seem all that important on the surface, but Colorado State needs to rack up wins and they can not afford to lose to Air Force who has a RPI of 175. Colorado State has an impressive RPI of 20, but they do not have the quality wins outside of defeating San Diego State. Air Force really likes to slow it down and keep the score in the upper 50s and low 60s. The one player that Colorado State needs to keep an eye on is Michael Lyons, he is averaging 14 points per game but has been struggling since his injury and has only one double figure scoring game in his last five when he put up 25 points in a close loss to UNLV at home.

AccuScore prediction: Colorado State is the overwhelming favorite witha 69 percent chance of winning and by a score of 66.3 to 55.9.

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The final game of the night is between TCU and San Diego State, and even though TCU is not great they like to run and score just as many points per game that San Diego State scores at 72 per game. The difference is that TCU's defense gives up 68 points per game compared to San Diego State who is more stingy allowing 61 points per game. TCU also has lost 15 straight games against ranked opponents and expect that streak to continue to 16.

AccuScore prediction: San Diego State in a landside of 81.5 percent chance to win and by an average score of 71.4 to 60.6.

Enjoy the games and remember if you wish to comment in our open thread you must register on the site. Also, if you are at a game or not able to watch the game make sure to use the mobile version of our site or the SB Nation iPhone and Android app.

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