Mountain West power rankings has Wyoming at the top
Wyoming holds top spot
Wyoming remains the top team in this iteration of Mountain West power rankings. But they’ve lost two of their last three games and sit 1.5 games behind Boise State in the Mountain West regular-season race. Superstar Graham Ike only scored eight points on 3-13 shooting in Wednesday’s loss to Colorado State.
The Cowboys host Nevada this weekend.
2.) Boise State
Boise State snagged the narrow over Utah State, as the game stayed tight throughout. A Rylan Jones three-pointer chopped the lead to 57-55 with less than three minutes left before the Broncos exploded on an 11-2 run to finish out the contest. Marcus Shaver Jr scored 20 points on 6-9 shooting in the 11-point victory. On Tuesday, Boise State carried a 30-20 lead into halftime before San Diego State stormed back, taking the lead with 24 seconds left on an outstanding play leading to Matt Bradley finding Nathan Mensah for an alley-oop. A questionable foul call on the other end gave Abu Kigab two free throws with less than two seconds left — Kigab drilled both with ease.
Boise State travels to the Mountain West tournament site in Vegas, where they’ll face Bryce Hamilton and UNLV.
3.) Colorado State
It’s almost like the 2021-22 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels have some bizarre superpowers over Colorado State, as the Rams lost their second battle with UNLV this year. It adds another loss, but only of the quadrant two variety, so Colorado State’s at large resume remains solid. CSU bounced back on Wednesday, beating Wyoming by six in Fort Collins. David Roddy scored 26 points in the contest.
The Rams look to add another quality win on Sunday, facing Utah State in Logan.
4.) San Diego State
San Diego State looked to potentially turn a corner offensively, but the issues crept up again in the loss to Boise State. Even when the game got close, there wasn’t a ton of ball movement leading to open shots. The idea of missing the NCAA Tournament is starting to get serious; the Aztecs only hold five wins in the first two quadrants, which doesn’t help the committee select them into the dance.
SDSU hosts San Jose State this weekend in a must-win game to keep their tournament dreams afloat.
If you’re trying to zero in on a bid-stealing contender from the Mountain West, look no further than the host team. That’s the UNLV Rebels, who blew out Colorado State for the second time this season; Bryce Hamilton only had 20 points, but the Runnin’ Rebels stout defense gave the Rams problems all game. UNLV defeated Nevada by double-digits for the second time in Reno.
UNLV doesn’t have any NCAA Tournament chance aside from making a run in the Mountain West tournament but can play spoiler when meeting up with Boise State on Saturday. Even though there’s only a sliver of hope for the NCAA Tournament — making the NIT is very much in the realm of possibility.
6.) Fresno State
The Bulldogs followed their five-game losing skid up by knocking off Air Force. Star forward Orlando Robinson refound his conference player of the year caliber form, scoring 26 points while hitting eight of 11 shots. After Robinson went 6-24 with 16 points in two home losses to UNLV and San Diego State, that’s a promising sign.
Fresno State doesn’t take the court again until Monday when New Mexico comes to town.
Grant Sherfield scored 46 points while adding 18 assists in Nevada’s two victories over San Jose State last week, with the potential to grow their win streak to four games when facing UNLV. The Wolf Pack fell short and were short-handed as Desmond Cambridge Jr didn’t dress for the game. Sherfield and Warren Washington contributed 31 of the team’s 54 points in their loss.
It isn’t easy to beat Nevada when the two guards are clicking, and they’ll face Wyoming in Laramie as the Cowboys look to punch their NCAA ticket.
8.) Utah State
Utah State snapped their four-game losing streak on Tuesday when New Mexico went to Logan. Justin Bean scored 21 points, and Brandon Horvath added 19 points in the convincing victory over New Mexico. It’s surprising the Aggies conference record is 7-9, but don’t sleep on Ryan Odom’s team.
9.) San Jose State
The Spartans notched their first win since league play started, knocking off New Mexico 71-55. Omari Moore led the winning effort with 18 points on 9-14 shooting while dishing out ten assists. While there won’t be a high number in the win column, there are plenty of positive takeaways from Tim Miles’s first season in San Jose.
The Spartans face an arduous task with San Diego State this weekend.
10.) New Mexico
The Lobos have immense potential when Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr make plays, but they’ve lost three consecutive games by 66 combined points. I see UNM very comparable to last year’s Wyoming squad — first-year head coaches with talented teams, but there are some real ebbs-and-flows. In the San Jose State loss, House only scored 14 points on 3-15 shooting. House and Mashburn Jr only scored 16 total points on Tuesday in the 25 point loss in Logan.
UNM will head home to face Air Force, which hasn’t won in over a month.
11.) Air Force
Air Force lost eight consecutive games dating back to January 25th — during the losing streak, the Falcons haven’t held a team to less than 1.00 points per possession.
Air Force will meet the tough New Mexico offensive on Saturday in the PIT.