Preseason AP College Basketball Shuts Out Mountain West
What MW team will be the first to crack top 25?
Rankings are here
College basketball season is here! Well, almost here.
On Monday, the first AP Top 25 of the season was released. As always, there were some surprises to this list. Let’s start with the obvious choices, shall we?
On top of the list were Gonzaga, UCLA, Kansas, Villanova, and Texas. The Zags were one game away from finishing as undefeated NCAA Champions before the Baylor Bears came in and smacked them around in the championship game.
The Bruins, on the other hand, were one of the biggest surprises in recent memory. UCLA went from First Four to the Final Four in shocking fashion as Mick Cronin proved to everybody why UCLA made the right choice in hiring him.
This list didn’t have a ton of surprises on the surface. However, one surprise is the representation– or lack thereof– of Mountain West teams. The MWC had a whooping zero teams appear on the Top 25, which is certainly surprising.
The San Diego State Aztecs seemed the likeliest to land on the list, and they are nowhere to be found. They landed in the others receiving votes category with only five votes.
The Aztecs finished ranked No. 16 in the NCAA and had a stunning 23-5 record but suffered a first-round loss to Syracuse. Still, them missing completely from the Top 25 is appalling.
Colorado State was the only other MWC school to get votes, earning 11.
However, things might change rather quickly for the Aztecs. They begin the season with a buy game against UC Riverside before a brutal stretch against BYU and Arizona State. On Thanksgiving, the Aztecs head to the Wooden Legacy and face Georgetown and either one of St. Joe’s or USC. All of those games could thrust them right into the thick of the Top 25, if they can come out on top.
And of course who can forget the Brian Dutcher Michigan reunion on December 4 as the Aztecs head to Ann Arbor.
As far as Colorado State is concerned, they have a cakewalk of a schedule until a December 4 matchup against St. Mary’s. The Rams then play Mississippi State and No. 14 Alabama before starting conference play, so there is a possibility both the Rams and Aztecs begin MWC slate as ranked squads.
At this point, this shouldn’t be a surprise. The Mountain West is always overlooked. However, the Aztecs finished 16th in the country and added talent across the board, so their absence here is extremely questionable.
The college basketball season is less than a month away, so sit back and get ready for another wild ride.
Full AP rankings.
17. Ohio State
19. North Carolina
20. Florida State
23. St. Bonaventure