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Wyoming at Air Force preview: Pokes must avoid possible trap game

Will the stars align for Air Force to upset Wyoming at home Saturday? It could be possible.

Wyoming visits Air Force for a Mountain West game Saturday.
Wyoming visits Air Force for a Mountain West game Saturday.
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Wyoming's matchup with Air Force on Saturday has all the makings of a trap game. It's sandwhiched in between Wednesday's rivalry game with Colorado State and next week's rematch with San Diego State, the only Mountain West team to upset the Pokes this season.

Both games are jam-packed with emotions, and Saturday gives Air Force (10-12, 3-8) a perfect opportunity to pick off Wyoming, as the Cowboys will most certainly be looking ahead to the Aztecs. SDSU (18-5, 8-2) is currently tied for first place in the conference standings with Wyoming (19-4, 8-2), while the Falcons don't prove to be much of a threat for the Pokes.

Wyoming is 74-34 in the all-time series with Air Force and 2-1 under coach Larry Shyatt during his second tenure as the Cowboys' coach. His one loss came at Air Force last season, when Nathan Sobey scored 18 points and attemped a game-winning 3-pointer that didn't fall at the final horn. The Falcons walked off the court with a 55-53 victory.

One thing impacting this game is Wyoming's Larry Nance Jr. and Alan Herndon's battles with mononucleosis. If that illness limits Nance, who was diagnosed with a mild case of mono, it'd be doom for the Cowboys.

Nance averagea 16.3 points per game and shoots 55 percent from the floor (fifth-best in the Mountain West). If he isn't at full strength, Air Force could pull off the home upset.

Max Yon leads Air Force by averaging 14.6 points, and Mark Olesinki, Trevor Lyons and Justin Hammonds all should help the Falcons' offense.

Wyoming is 31-19 all-time in Colorado Springs. It should leave town with its 32nd win Saturday, but that's only if Air Force can't take advantage of everything going against the Pokes entering this game.