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2023-24 Mountain West Basketball Power Rankings: January 15

We love parity!

NCAA Basketball: Utah State at UNLV Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

There was plenty of parity and thrilling victories this last week in the Mountain West ... and the sky is also blue! With plenty of change throughout the conference, let’s dive into this week’s power rankings!

1. Utah State

The Aggies came within seconds of losing their first MW game of the season to UNLV ... until an incredibly rare five-point play with less than 10 seconds left gave Utah State the lead.

The Aggies have now won 15 straight and are the only 4-0 team in conference play. Its defense has slightly dipped since the start of MW play, but their offense has more than made up for the slight drop-off.

You truly never know what you’re going to get when you tune into Mountain West basketball. The gift that never stops giving. This is January!!!!

2. Boise State

Boise State walked right into Reno and handed the Wolf Pack their first home loss of the season Friday evening ... days after knocking off No. 17 Colorado State by seven at home. The Broncos suppressed both backcourts with their hyperphysical defense on- and off-the-ball—spearheaded by Roddie Anderson and Chibuzo Agbo. They have won nine of their last 10 games and will have a pair of home affairs this week against UNLV and San Diego State, two very physical teams.

3. Colorado State

Its only game of the week was a seven-point loss to Boise State. The Rams still maintain a top-20 NET ranking and are 5-3 in Quad 1-2 games, which is why they still earn a top-3 spot. But they have lost two straight road games to Quad 2 opponents while the other five teams in the top-6 picked up at least one win last week.

4. New Mexico

A 20-4 second-half Lobo run—spurred by Jamal Mashburn knocking down whatever he wanted—was more than enough for New Mexico to get back to .500 in conference play against No. 19 San Diego State. Jaelen House, Mashburn and JT Toppin combined for 62 of UNM’s 88 points against an Aztec defense that’s a top-25 unit in the country. Now, it looks to build off it with a home contest against Utah State Tuesday.

5. San Diego State

The Aztecs picked up their first MW loss of the season Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M., after securing a narrow three-point win over San Jose State on Tuesday. They are now 2-3 in Quad 1 games, but remain 10-0 in Quad 2-3-4 games. The loss snapped their seven-game win streak, and the road will not get any easier against Nevada and Boise State this week.

6. Nevada

It’s practically impossible to have a 15-2 team be outside the top-3, let alone No. 6 in this week’s rankings ... until now. Trust me, I have a headache too! Nevada got out-rebounded by 19 (43-24) at home in Friday’s eight-point loss to Boise State. It marked their worst rebounding margin since Feb. 28, 2021, against Utah State (minus-22). The Broncos were the more physical team for 40 minutes, even though the Wolf Pack made a late push with their 2-2-1 press and nearly completed the comeback. They will now have two road contests against San Diego State, where they’ve lost 10 straight, and Wyoming.

7. UNLV

You could argue UNLV outplayed Utah State Saturday for the majority of Saturday’s game, but it ultimately didn’t matter. UNLV has lost three games this season by one possession this season. On the bright side, Luis Rodriguez posted a season-high 23 points with nine rebounds and two steals, knocking down three triples for the fifth time over the last seven games. It will have two tough road games this week against Boise State and Colorado State.

8. San Jose State

MJ Amey is the gift that keeps on giving; he finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, but sunk a corner buzzer-beating 3-point team to give SJSU a three-point victory after it squandered a 10-point second-half advantage. He’s now averaging 18.5 points on 46.4 percent shooting and 36.8 percent from 3-point range over his last eight games, which includes a six-point outing against Wyoming to open MW play.

9. Wyoming

Saturday was littered with thrilling wins. Wyoming snapped their two-game skid with a one-point win over Fresno State, which featured a game-winning jumper by guard Akuel Kot with a second left. Wyoming trailed by 12 with less than 10 minutes left, but got strong contributions from Brendan Wenzel, Sam Griffin, Kot and Caden Powell down the stretch that helped it secure its second MW win of 2023-24.

10. Fresno State

The Bulldogs have five of their last six, including their first three games to begin MW play. It was one of Fresno’s better performances offensively recently, but it shot just 4-of-10 from the free-throw line while Wyoming shot 45.0 percent from deep and out-rebounded Fresno by eight. That’s the difference in winning and losing. There haven’t been many recent positives for Fresno, who dropped to a MW-worst No. 254 in the NET.

11. Air Force

Ethan Taylor, Beau Baker and Rytis Petraitis nearly led an excellent comeback victory at home against San Jose State, but Air Force suffered their sixth straight loss and its third Quad 4 loss of the season. It still has yet to secure a victory outside of the Quad 4, but will have two cracks this week against Colorado State and New Mexico.