As we do each Monday, we're checking in on the Mountain West Conference basketball standings to see how all 11 teams are 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 16:
|TEAM||CONF. W-L||OVERALL W-L||HOME||ROAD|
|San Diego State||11-1||22-2||12-1||7-1|
|San Jose State||0-13||6-19||4-7||2-10|
Last week was actually a busy one for the Mountain West Conference, as both of its top teams -- San Diego State and New Mexico -- fell to lesser opponents. SDSU's loss assures the Aztecs they'll miss out on a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs, but plenty of games left to lock down the No. 2-spot out West. The teams in the middle of the league have also seemed to catch fire, and while they may not factor into the regular season race, it'll be an interesting sprint to the finish for higher seeds in the MWC Tournament.
This week's big matchups:
Tuesday, Feb. 18 -- Fresno State at Wyoming: Fun fact: Wyoming and Fresno State are two of just three MWC teams to possess a current winning streak of two or more games. After starting off the season a very rough 1-7 in league play, the Bulldogs have mounted a furious comeback -- taking five straight games and playing their way into the middle of the pack. After a rough stretch two weeks ago, Wyoming scored a huge upset over San Diego State last week and has their eyes set on a potential NIT berth. This one may not seem important on its face, but the winner may be looking at a top-four seed in the MWC tourney.
Tuesday, Feb. 18 -- Utah State at San Diego State: In a tune-up for Saturday's big game with New Mexico, San Diego State hosts Utah State in a contest they should not overlook. Though the Aggies have been struggling (they've lost five of eight), many of those Ls came against the league's top squads. They should be able to give the Aztecs some trouble, though that largely depends on USU's Jarred Shaw's supporting cast and whether or not they can help him with the scoring load. If not, it could be a long evening.
Wednesday, Feb. 19 -- New Mexico at UNLV: New Mexico's not looking ahead of this matchup -- facing off with a hot UNLV squad on the road. The Lobos were just dealt their first road loss of the year last week, while the Rebels haven't lost at home since early January. Though the Mountain West race may look like a two-team affair on paper, this game could also change that completely, putting the Rebels within just one game of second, while also owning the tiebraker against UNM.
Saturday, Feb. 22: UNLV at Boise State: Boise's already scored one big upset at Taco Bell Arena in the past week (over New Mexico). Can they make it two now? Both teams get several days' rest before suiting up on Saturday, but the Broncos are likely coming off the easier matchup (Colorado State), and the Rebels aren't stellar away from home. The key will be staying competitive on the boards. If the Broncos' Ryan Watkins can keep the rebounding margin close against UNLV (who's 14th in the nation in rebounds per game), that'll go a long way toward a victory.
Saturday, Feb. 22: San Diego State at New Mexico: And this is the game everyone's been waiting for. Due to scheduling quirks, this marks the first of two times (in two weeks) that SDSU and UNM face off with one another, and those head-to-head results are likely to decide who wins the conference. New Mexico's resume looks solid for an at-large bid, but an upset of the Aztecs would certainly help. San Diego State, on the other hand, is reeling from last week's loss to Wyoming and needs to grab themselves a quality win to stay in the No. 2-seed conversation. This one should be a blast on ESPN2 this Saturday night.
So what do you think? Can San Diego State and New Mexico bounce back? Will their Saturday matchup live up to its billing? And do you believe in Fresno State a little bit now that the Bulldogs have reeled off five straight victories? Share your thoughts below.
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