Week 14 MWC Power Rankings

abqjournal

New Mexico is No. 1 in the MWC and looks to keep it that way throughout the season.

Week 13 was a tumultuous week in the top 25, more so the top 10. 5 teams in the top 10 lost last week, No.10 Oregon, No.9 Butler, No.6 Syracuse, No.2 Kansas and No.1 Michigan, leaving the No.1 spot to the much deserving Indiana Hoosiers. While rankings don't matter right now, as my self a jayhawker would say, the final rankings before the tournament won't even look recognizable and Miami (FL) will be like, a No.2 seed. Seriously though the MWC had a rough week in the rankings, SDSU lost to Air Force and will likely drop out and UNLV was "No.27" and was on the cusp of glory, before getting beat on the road by Boise State. New Mexico will rise up in the top 25 and will be eyeing a 3, 4 or 5 seed come March, although that and 5 bucks will buy you a cup of coffee: it means nothing. At least not right now.

1. New Mexico: I don't know what it is about the Lobos, but they keep finding ways to win. New Mexico has had one of the, if not, best backcourt in the MWC led by Kendall Williams (13.8 PPG-4.5 APG) and Tony Snell (11.8 PPG-2.7 APG). As of today (Sunday), UNM is ranked 6th in the RPI and has a one game lead over CSU and Air Force. Really. Air Force. Speaking of the Falcons, UNM takes on the Falcons at home in Week 14 which will could be one of the most impacting MWC games of the week. After Air Force at home they go on the road to face the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV.

2. Colorado State: Boy, the state of Colorado is really heating up, metaphorically of course. The Rams are tied for 2nd in the MWC with in-state rival Air Force, looks like that drubbing of the Falcons back in Week 11 had more of an impact than previously thought. The Rams took down their 2nd rival, Wyoming, in a 19 point blow out. Now CSU looks to get their revenge on SDSU by hosting them at home in Week 14, in a game which they are clearly the favorites to win.

3. Air Force: At the beginning of the MWC season, I, and many others, believed that Air Force would finish 7th in the conference, but now they are tied for 2nd. What a difference 2 weeks can make. Now the Falcons are in prime position to make a post season run by playing on the road against New Mexico in Week 14. If the Falcons can beat the Lobos in Week 14, then there may be two teams from Colorado dancing in March. With two main scorers on the team for the Falcons, G Mark Lyons (18.1 PPG-4.6 RPG) and G Todd Fletcher (10.1 PPG-4 APG), and a starting rotation full of seniors, anything is possible for Air Force.

4. UNLV: How can a team that is ranked 34th in PPG, 9th in rebounding and 5th in assist nationally be so inconsistent? Almost every week in MWC play, UNLV has been coupled with a great win and a great loss. This week their loss was to the Boise State Broncos. Now, the Broncos aren't that bad of a team, but still, being just a week away from the top 25 must have been hard for the Rebels. The Rebels still could crack the top 25, though it will be unlikely. UNLV will make their case this week by hosting the Lobos at home in week 14.

5. San Diego State: Another aggravatingly inconsistent team in the MWC are the SDSU Aztecs. In hindsight, the Aztecs should have won considering their loss to Air Force was 3 points and G Chase Tapley (14 PPG-3.2 RPG), who played 35 minutes, scored only 2 points. Luckily for the Aztecs they get a relatively easy Week 14, hosting both Fresno State and Boise State at home. Maybe G Jamaal Franklin (17.8 PPG-9.5 RPG) won't have to carry the workload so much like he did in Week 13, scoring 25 points.

6. Boise State: Ok, BSU, did you really need to storm the court after you guys beat the Runnin' Rebels? An unranked Rebels team I might add. Of course this really must be flattering for UNLV, being worthy of court storming even when unranked. Aside from celebration, this was still a good, and much needed, win for the Broncos if they want to keep their NCAA tournament chances alive. Beating SDSU and Wyoming would be a good start.

7. Wyoming: I must say, the Cowboys have been the biggest disappointment of the MWC season, even more so than Fresno State, because at least the Cowboys were expected to win. The pokes are riding a four game losing streak and, sadly, boast the MWC worst conference PPG at only 52. Guards Josh Adams (6 PPG-1.5 APG) and Riley Grabau (5.8 PPG-2.6 APG) registered zero points against rival CSU Saturday, and they are starters. It is sad to think that their season could have been so much different had G Luke Martinez (14.5 PPG-3 RPG) not gotten in that bar fight.

8. Nevada: Look, the Wolf Pack haven't been the best basketball team in the MWC, though considering that this is their first in the Mountain West, they aren't doing that bad. Ending the season above .500, or close to, would be a good and reasonable goal for the Wolf Pack. It may be a little early to be telling the Wolf Pack to throw in the towel early, though the way Nevada has been playing, maybe not.

9. Fresno State: This team is bad. All of their stats reach into the 300's nationally, PPG and RPG being the best, tied for 318th in the nation. I feel embarrassed that I almost put Fresno State in my pre season bracketology, though who'd blame me? G Kevin Olekaibe (8.2 PPG-1.8 RPG) was averaging 17.8 PPG a year ago.

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