The Mountain West Conference basketball season is in full swing. And for the rest of the year, we're checking in on all 11 teams to see where each week to see how they're doing in relation to NCAA tournament bids, MWC Tournament seeding and wrapping up the league's regular season championship.
Below are the Mountain West standings for Week 15:
|TEAM||CONF. W-L||OVERALL W-L||HOME||ROAD|
|San Diego State||10-0||21-1||11-1||7-0|
|San Jose State||0-11||6-17||4-5||2-10|
While San Diego State and New Mexico continued to take care of business, the teams firmly on the bubble did not. Nevada, Wyoming and Boise State dropped two games apiece, and now face a near-impossible road to win the league's regular season title. Meanwhile, schools like Colorado State, Utah State and Fresno State -- all left for dead -- are suddenly just outside the top half of the MWC standings. No, the Mountain West isn't as deep with tournament-caliber squads as it's been in years past, but at least very least, parity has made for an exciting close to the season.
This week's big matchups:
Tuesday, Feb. 11 -- San Diego State at Wyoming: State's rolling while Wyoming is now reeling. Two straight losses is exactly what the Cowboys did not need if they had any chance to play their way back into the tournament conversation, and now, they'll be forced to win out to have any hope. The 'Pokes are strong at home and haven't lost there since an OT defeat at the hands of New Mexico. SDSU will be challenged as they continue making a case for a No. 1 seed.
Tuesday, Feb. 11 -- Utah State at Colorado State: After much-needed big weeks last week, both of these schools have some renewed hope for the postseason (NIT). Like Wyoming, they could win out and take home the league crown, but realistically, this game (and all the rest) are about respect. A top-half finish and an appearance in the MWC semifinals would be marked as a success at this point. And winning this game would certainly help matters for either team.
Wednesday, Feb. 12 -- New Mexico at Boise State: Boise is trying desperately to pump the breaks on a freefall, while New Mexico tries to keep its perfect road record alive. The Lobos are still just a game back of SDSU, with two left to play against the Aztecs. There's a lot at stake here, and the energy and nerves should be palpable at Taco Bell Arena. beyond the team aspect, there's also the one-man show that can be Cameron Bairstow as well. The UNM forward hasn't scored less than 14 points in a game since November -- a streak he stands an excellent chance to keep alive on Wednesday night.
Saturday, Feb. 15: UNLV at Utah State: This has all the makings of a trap game for this UNLV squad which is still positioned well enough to make a run at the postseason. While they've won five of seven, they're still just 4-3 on the road and (surprise!) this one takes them away from the cozy confines of the Thomas & Mack Center in favor of Utah State's home court. Every game's a must-win for the Rebels -- this one just happens to be the next one.
Saturday, Feb. 15: Nevada at New Mexico: This is your game of the week, though obviously things would be even more exciting had the Wolf Pack kept up their winning ways. But with an upset in Albuquerque, perhaps Nevada still moves themselves into that second-place conversation. The Lobos have won 11 of 12, but their last loss (UNLV) was at home. Nevada's not a strong road team (just 6-5), but it would be very unwise for New Mexico to just look past Deonte Burton and his teammates toward bigger fish (SDSU).
So what do you think? Can San Diego State grab a No. 1 seed? Could Nevada or UNLV also insert themselves into the NCAA tournament conversation with SDSU and UNM? Share your thoughts below.