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MWCConnection Basketball Rankings: Aztecs Move Up To Second Spot

A lot has happened in the first month of the season, causing the rankings to be very fluid. 

NCAA Basketball: Cal St. Fullerton at San Diego State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

We are a month into the basketball season, and while it feels like the season just started, it also feels like we are several months into the basketball season with all the memorable moments we have witnessed.

The Mountain West has had its fair share of moments through the first four months. Colorado State is one of the lone undefeated teams remaining, Utah State pulled off a shocker at the Myrtle Beach Invitational and other teams like Wyoming and Air Force have had surprisingly good starts. And with the season likely to get even wilder, we’ll try our best to rank them accordingly, so here are this week’s basketball power rankings:

1) Colorado State

For another week the Rams are atop of the Mountain, sitting at 9-0. They answered a crucial test over the weekend with a dominating win against St. Mary’s. In this past week’s AP Poll, Colorado State was the highest team in the “others that received votes” section, so expect to see the Rams ranked in the top-25 very soon.

2) San Diego State

The Aztecs are 6-3 after a close home win against CSU Fullerton. Over the weekend, San Diego State fell to Michigan in Ann Arbor. San Diego State has a break of over a week before they travel to make a trip to St. Mary’s. That is one of the last best chances for San Diego State to get a marquee win on its non-conference schedule.

3) Utah State

The Aggies fell by double digits to BYU on Wednesday night. Utah State struggled from the free-throw line, just making 9-of-20 free throws in Provo. Despite the loss, the non-conference has been good to Utah State. They overcame a tough opening night loss to UC Davis and upset Oklahoma in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.

4) Fresno State

The Bulldogs became another Mountain West team to fall to undefeated San Francisco Wednesday night. Fresno State kept up with San Francisco for most of the game, even tying the game late in the second half 60-60, but the Dons were just too much for the Bulldogs. Despite the loss, Fresno State is still the top defense in the Mountain West, allowing 55.3 points per game and with the strong showing they had against San Francisco, they could be in store for some upsets come conference play.

5) Wyoming

In their first tough matchup of the season, the Cowboys were blown out against the Arizona Wildcats last night. If you look at Wyoming’s schedule, they didn’t play a lot of tough opponents, so this blowout loss to undefeated Arizona was expected. The Cowboys will have a chance to redeem themselves when they face another PAC-12 team, Stanford, later this month.

6) Air Force

The Falcons suffered their first loss Wednesday night to Montana on the road after winning their previous seven straight games. Similar to Wyoming, Air Force has played a fairly soft schedule. They have a break before a couple more road games to end non-conference play. The Falcons are right behind the Bulldogs in defense, allowing only 57.9 points per game, which has carried them through their 7-2 start.

7) Boise State

The Broncos picked up two wins over the past week, winning a close one at home against Tulsa and taking care of CSU Northridge on the road on Tuesday. Boise State has played a fairly tough schedule and is sitting at 5-4. Boise State’s inconsistency has plagued them throughout the year, they’ve had close losses to quality opponents like St. Bonaventure and Saint Louis, but laid an egg at home against CSU Bakersfield. Nonetheless, the tough schedule and quality wins over Temple and Ole Miss might be what the Broncos need to get ready for conference play to avenge how last season ended.

8) Nevada

The Wolf Pack have become the first Mountain West team to be impacted from COVID this season after Steve Alford tested positive. And there were more issues within the program that caused Nevada’s games against North Texas and UT Arlington to be canceled due to COVID issues within the team. Before the stoppage, the Wolf Pack have won their last three games and appear to be turning things around as conference play begins.

9) New Mexico

The Lobos lost a heartbreaker at home to their in-state rival New Mexico State, splitting the series between the two schools in New Mexico. Despite being at 5-4 through the first month of the season, there have been signs of improvement for the Lobos under Richard Pitino. New Mexico is in third place in the conference in scoring, averaging 82 points per game and they have the best turnover margin in the conference at 3.56.

10) UNLV

Before yesterday’s game against Seattle, UNLV had dropped its last five games against Division I opponents, and four of those were by double digits. But the Runnin’ Rebels got a much-needed win Wednesday night to break their recent skid. Kent State transfer guard Michael Nuga led UNLV with 21 points in its win and Oklahoma transfer forward Victor Iwaukor made his season debut. The Runnin’ Rebels will need their transfers to step up to solve their problems on both sides of the ball and to move up in the rankings.

11) San Jose State

The Spartans split its two games this past week, defeating North Dakota at home last Friday and losing to Pepperdine earlier in the week. While it will be a long rebuild for Tim Miles and the entire staff to turn around San Jose State, the progress they have made in the first month of the season cannot be denied.