New Mexico looks to get a huge win at Colorado State in week 16. - Boston.com
New Mexico's place atop the MWC will be contested in week 16.
This is it. The only two ranked Mountain West teams will face each other in a game that very well may decide the victor of the league. Colorado State will host New Mexico on Saturday to decide who will have a leg up in the title chase, but Colorado State will have to get though a tough battle at UNLV first.
1. New Mexico: Enjoy the lead while you can, New Mexico, for it may not last after this week. The Lobos have only one game in week 16, but it will be the most important game on their schedule. If New Mexico can win this game, they then have to only worry about San Diego State at home then Air Force on the road the rest of the season. Though, the Lobos road play hasn't been too convincing to believe this week's tilt with Colorado State will be an easily won game.
2. Colorado State: The Rams earned a huge win in week 15, beating the Falcons 89-86. That game proved that Colorado State is a five-man team, as 85 of their 89 points came from their starters. That's all right, Kansas was a five-man team that got little help form their bench and they did pretty well last year. This team will be dangerous come March, as all five of their starters are seniors who contribute to the 43rd best scoring average of 73.8 PPG and the best rebounding average at 42.3.
3. UNLV: The Runnin' Rebels have been, by far, the most inconsistent team in the MWC. UNLV, once again, split in week 15, losing at Air Force and then winning a home against SDSU. Will the Rebels win at home against Colorado State and then lose on the road to Wyoming in week 16? It wouldn't surprise me. The Rebels had a weird February, losing to the bad teams and winning against the good teams. Week 16 will provide UNLV with their last games in February.
4. Air Force: The Falcons were so close from turning their good week into a great week after their Wednesday win over UNLV. G Michael Lyons (19.2 PPG-4.3 RPG-2.3 APG) scored an outstanding 45 points against the Rams on Saturday, though it wasn't enough to topple their in-state rival. Fear not Air Force, for a post season run could be in the cards, three games at Boise State, vs Wyoming and at Fresno State should provide Air force with three straight wins before taking on SDSU and New Mexico to wrap up their regular season.
5. San Diego State: Much like UNLV, the Aztecs too have had a less than stellar February. San Diego State has only 2 wins, Fresno State and Boise State, and three losses in February and are looking to get that above .500 with two easy home games against Wyoming and Nevada. Hopefully those games will recharge Jamaal Franklin (16.9 PPG-9.1 RPG) who has been averaging just 11 points and 5 rebounds in his last two games.
6. Boise State: The Broncos have an easy end to February, with game against Air Force Fresno State and Nevada, but have a hard start to march, with games against SDSU, Colorado state and UNLV. Hypothetically, if Boise State could win the rest of their schedule they'd have a good chance at making the NCAA's. Who knows, in this MWC season anything is possible.
7. Wyoming: Wyoming, go home, you are drunk. Who trails Fresno State by ten at the half and then need overtime to win, AT HOME? Apparently Wyoming does. It doesn't get any easier for the Pokes either; their last five games are against the top five teams in the MWC. I'd be surprised if they were to win any of those games.
8. Nevada: Boy, Nevada will want to forget their first year in the MWC. From going 28-7 in the WAC to 12-12 in week 16 is quite a dive. Nevada play fellow former WAC member Fresno State to wrap up there last win of the season. Because they way they have been playing, getting wins against Boise State or any of the MWC's top four that are still on the Wolf Pack's schedule are highly unlikely.
9. Fresno State: The Dawgs are bad. That is all that needs to be said about Fresno State's MWC season.