Mountain West Power Rankings: Wyoming rises to number one; Utah State jumps into top five

Mountain West Power Rankings: Wyoming rises to number one; Utah State jumps into top five

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Mountain West Power Rankings: Wyoming rises to number one; Utah State jumps into top five

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Week 12 Mountain West rankings


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Wyoming takes the top spot

We’re looking at the power rankings post Week 12 of the College Basketball season. 

1. Wyoming – 73 points

Last week, the Cowboys faced a daunting season-defining three-game stretch, facing Boise State, Colorado State, and Fresno State. If they lost all three games, they would’ve seen their at-large resume hopes dissipate right in front of their eyes. Instead, they swept the week, starting with an overtime thriller over Colorado State, thanks to Hunter Maldonado’s 35-point outing. A few evenings later, Ike exploded with 33 points and 14 rebounds, leading to the win over the extremely hot Boise State Broncos. Just to finish the week off right, Maldonado scored 21 in the 61-59 victory in the Save Mart Center. 

Jeff Linder’s squad came in just eight points behind No. 25 Xavier in this week’s AP Poll, making them the 26th ranked team. Barring a loss to Utah State or San Jose State, expect Wyoming to find their name in next week’s AP rankings. 

2. Boise State – 71 points

The Broncos dropped their first game since the calendar flipped to 2022. The loss to Wyoming ended a 14-game winning streak, which put the Broncos firmly in the NCAA Tournament field. Abu Kigab shined with 26 points in the narrow loss, but defending Wyoming’s Ike proved difficult in the game’s final minutes. Boise State had no issues with San Jose State in the following game, winning a 76-60 contest. Emmanuel Akot was absent from the contest, putting Max Rice in the starting lineup, and Marcus Shaver pivoted to lead guard duties. Freshman sensation Tyson Degenhart tallied a career-high 23 points on 6-9 shooting in 34 minutes.

The Broncos host Bryce Hamilton & UNLV on Wednesday, before meeting Colorado State on Super Bowl Sunday, in a rescheduled game from last month. 

3. Colorado State – 65 points

After dropping the overtime thriller in Laramie, the Rams were quickly in the midst of a two-game losing streak. They had to get some revenge on San Diego State to avoid losing three consecutive — the Aztecs blasted CSU by 30 points in the first matchup. 

Colorado State led by 14 points with less than six minutes remaining. It looked like the Rams would coast to victory as time elapsed off the clock to get the train back on the tracks. SDSU sparked an 11-0 run in the final two minutes, taking the lead with less than 10 seconds left, thanks to Lamont Butler’s three-pointer. Directly after the bucket, David Roddy drilled a mid-range jumper, giving CSU the advantage right back, ending up being the game-deciding shot. Roddy scored a team-best 22 points in the contest.

Colorado State faces a tough three-game stretch — starting in Reno on Tuesday, then returning home for a Friday game against Fresno before hitting the road for Boise on Sunday. 

4. San Diego State – 51 points

Matt Bradley spearheaded the Aztecs comeback attempt in Fort Collins, scoring 29 points on 7-19 shooting, but made 9-10 free throws. Aside from Bradley, nobody scored more than eight points. Once again, on Sunday, Bradley decided to do everything scoring-wise, leading the team with 26 points and was the only player in double-figures in the narrow win over Nevada. 

The lack of offense outside of Bradley remains an issue — San Diego State ranks 233rd in KenPom’s offensive efficiency. Sure, the team ranks 1st in defensive efficiency, but you have to be flawless on defense when the offense struggles to that degree. 

SDSU faces Air Force and San Jose State this week in must-win games to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. 

5. Utah State – 49 points

Don’t look now: Utah State has won five consecutive games after starting 1-5 in Mountain West play. Even more encouraging — each of those games got decided by double-digit margins. Justin Bean regained conference player of the year form, scoring 32 points against UNLV.

On Tuesday, the Aggies could strengthen their NCAA Tournament, facing Wyoming in Laramie. That won’t be an easy game, but they enter the game on that winning streak. 

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