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SB Nation Bubble Watch: New Mexico drops out of the field

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Chris Dobbertean, SB Nation's College Basketball Guru, does Bracketology every Tuesday and Bubble Watch every Friday. This week's post of Bubble Watch features New Mexico dropping off the map, and rightfully so.

Sorry this wasn't up yesterday, I couldn't get in front of a computer all day.

New Mexico dropped off the map entirely in this week's bubble watch, and rightfully so. The Lobos lost 4 in a row. Now granted, three of those four losses were close games that came down to the final minute against Colorado State, UNLV and San Diego State, but that fourth loss was to Utah. At home. The Lobos are now 5-8 in conference and will have to win their final three games of the season, which includes BYU, in order to even finish the regular season with a .500 record in the MWC. This season has been very disappointing for New Mexico.

Colorado State, on the other hand, stays in the picture because they have wins over UNLV, New Mexico and Southern Miss. They lost two close games at home against UNLV and on the road at BYU.

The Rams' biggest issues are a 1-4 mark against the other Mountain West contenders and a pair of bad losses, one at home to Sam Houston State Thanksgiving weekend, and another against Hampton in San Francisco over New Year's. A Cancun Governor's Cup crown provides a little bit of a boost, but not much, thanks to the relative weakness of that particular field, but Southern Mississippi's place on the bubble makes that achievement look a bit better. After losing to BYU and UNLV in the past week, Colorado State may have have to make a run through the Mountain West Tournament to earn a bid, unless they can stun San Diego State at the Viejas Arena in their regular season finale.

As for CSU's at-large chances, I think I'll have to agree with Dobbertean. The Rams need one more marquee win to solidify them in the tournament. The good news? They have that opportunity in their regular season finale as well as during the MWC Tournament. Lose to SDSU and you have a first round date with New Mexico, who is still considered a good win.

UNLV isn't quite in lock shape, due to being swept by BYU and San Diego State this season, but wins over CSU and New Mexico have got them almost to that point.

UNLV's wins at Colorado State on Saturday and New Mexico on Wednesday improved their standing considerably. However, they need to beat Wyoming and Utah on the next two Saturdays to avoid the dreaded bad loss just before the MWC Tournament, which the Rebels happen to host.

The Runnin' Rebels previous mark of 1-5 against the top of the MWC now doesn't look so bad at 3-5. At this point, all they will need is a first round win since they will face either BYU or San Diego State in the second round, and a loss to them doesn't really hurt at all.

San Diego State and BYU remain locks, as was expected, although there is a lot of talk about the winner of Saturday's game between the Cougars and Aztecs going on to get a one seed.

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