Another weekend of college basketball is in the books, the Mountain West featuring games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and finally Sunday night’s showdown between San Diego State and UNLV. The Aztecs are the jewel of the conference right now, with everyone else 2-11 jockeying for conference tournament seeding.
There has been some movement in these week’s power rankings. Overreaction? Too conservative? Comment below.
1. San Diego State
The Aztecs defeated Wyoming on Tuesday and avoided the upset bid from UNLV on Sunday night 71-67. It feels like we’re getting closer to someone finally knocking off the Aztecs, but for now they remain undefeated and #2 in the NCAA NET Rankings. This week’s slate features a trip to The Pit and Utah State at Viejas.
2. Utah State
Told you. After bumping the Aggies a spot low last week, they bounced back nicely this week with a pair solid wins. USU sits at 62nd in the new NET Rankings, and you can bet they’ll be on the hunt for an upset at Viejas this week to make up for the 2-3 more losses than expected to this point in the season.
The Wolf Pack invited a pair of traditional Mountain West powers to Reno in UNLV and New Mexico and dispatched both of them with ease. The Pack are rising in the NET Rankings and if they can avoid any bad losses in the coming weeks, Steve Alford’s boys might sneak back into the NCAA Tournament discussion.
4. Boise State
As I stated last week, 4 through 7 or so are likely to be interchangeable for the foreseeable future and will fluctuate based on results. Believe it not, the NET Rankings have Boise State ranked 101st nationally, good for exactly 4th place in the conference. Broncos handed a bad Fresno State team the largest loss in Save Mart Center history, 87-53.
5. Colorado State
The Rams were #2 in this poll last week, the benefactor from Utah State’s brief punishment. Colorado State took care of Fresno State on Wednesday in impressive fashion, but weren’t as competitive as I’d like in Logan on Saturday. Still, the NET Rankings like them and have the Rams exactly one spot behind Boise State.
Judging UNLV this week is difficult. On one hand, they were drilled in Reno. Poor showing against their chief rival. On the other hand, they nearly shocked San Diego State and would have fired up these rankings for that achievement. Upcoming trips to Ft. Collins and Logan will reveal a lot about these Rebels.
7. New Mexico
New Mexico ranks 119th in the NET Rankings, not too far behind some of the teams ahead of them in these power rankings. The Lobos avenged their loss to San Jose State midweek, but joined UNLV in the “got their rears handed to them by Nevada” club. New Mexico feels like a team that could totally bomb in the conference tournament...or win the entire thing. Results are all over the place.
8. San Jose State
Death, taxes, San Jose State being the worst basketball team in the conference.
...or so we thought? The Spartans lost midweek, but beat Air Force at home where the Spartans have been surprisingly strong. With three conference wins and a win over the Falcons, I think I can justly move them to 8th ahead of the teams below...for now.
9. Air Force
I do not understand this Falcons team, and a promising season is starting to unravel after losses to Utah State and San Jose State. An upcoming schedule that will soon feature Nevada, San Diego State, and Boise State won’t help.
10. Fresno State
The Bulldogs rank 179th in the NET Rankings, ahead of a few teams listed above.
That’s the only compliment I have to offer after the Bulldogs suffered their worst home loss ever to Boise State on Saturday.
Still winless in conference play :(
This program won the conference only a handful of seasons ago, and it really feels like we’re just counting down the days until a new regime begins.
Those are this week’s rankings. How far off from reality am I? How many Mountain West teams will make the big dance? Will anyone beat the Aztecs? Comment below.