The footballing world dominated Sunday, but Mountain West basketball featured plenty in the prior days as we saw another shift in the conference standings. San Diego State continues to be the story of the year for the conference, and that didn’t change this week. So what did change? Let’s take a look.
1. San Diego State
Again, this is what didn’t change. Utah State provided a scare for the Aztecs at Viejas in the first half, but the Aztecs weren’t about tripping up on Kawhi Leonard night in the second half, ultimately winning 80-68. At 23-0, the Aztecs are now rank #1 in the country in the NCAA NET Rankings.
2. Utah State
Darn. That was close, or at least it was for the first half. The Aggies led by as much as 8 points in the first half, but couldn’t keep pace with the Aztecs. Still, it was an encouraging showing from the Aggies. They’ll still need to finish out strong to remain in NCAA tournament discussions, as the MWC continues to appear to be a one-bid league despite the Aztecs glory run.
3. Boise State
Aw hell, here comes the hard part. Boise State, Nevada, and Colorado State are all jumbled up together in the NCAA NET Rankings. Colorado State is on a tear, despite a disappointing loss in Logan last week. They’re tied for second in the conference with Boise State, although the Broncos beat the Rams back in December. Boise State, however, is ranked higher in the NET Rankings. Wanted to put the Rams here, but BSU has forced my hand. They might slip next week considering they have to play an angry Utah State team in Logan on Saturday.
4. Colorado State
Home wins over Nevada and UNLV, the Rams continue to be one of the pleasant surprises in the Mountain West this season. As stated above, they’re basically tied with Boise State, but the Broncos received the third place spot because of the NET Rankings. Rams only play at Fresno this week.
Here’s the thing: talent wise, Nevada is probably actually 2nd or 3rd in the conference. That said, you cannot go 0-2 during the week and not be judged, even if Colorado State and Boise State are good. Pack were down by as much as 20 in Boise on Saturday. They’ll rise again, but for now 5th feels appropriate.
Nevada, San Diego State, Colorado State. That’s a tough stretch, so it’s not crazy to see why the Rebels went 0-3 with that slate. The Rebels are sliding, but are somehow still 4th-place in the conference standings. How can they seriously be 6th here? Well...
7. New Mexico
What in the name of SpongeBob H. SquarePants is happening in Albuquerque? Suspensions. Constantly being in the news for the wrong reasons. Now losing to Fresno? That 16-8 record flatters this program.
8. Fresno State
The surging Bulldogs! Fresno State won at Air Force, and then rallied back from 11 down against New Mexico. This team appeared to be clinically dead a week ago, but apparently is only mostly dead. Great bounce back week, heat check coming up next when they host Colorado State.
Soak it in, Cowboys fans. The one and only week I’ll show this team some level of respect. The streak is over! Wyoming defeated San Jose State at their place on Saturday to finally notch a conference win. No, it doesn’t change the end game for this program, but the goose egg is gone.
10. San Jose State
After a few decent wins in recent weeks, getting slammed in Boise and then proceed to lose a very winnable game at home straight up sucks. So why aren’t the Spartans dead last?
11. Air Force
...because the Falcons are free falling, that’s why. After defeating Utah State and Boise State to spur confidence, the Falcons have lost four straight, including San Jose State and a home loss to Fresno State. I think the Falcons will bounce back eventually, but goodness this team is confounding.
Agree or disagree with the rankings?? Does the Mountain West have any hopes of a being a multi-bid league? Comment below.