1. San Diego State Aztecs (16-1, 5-0 MW)
Led by standout senior guard Xavier Thames, the Aztecs have won 15 straight games so far, and earned a No. 7 ranking in the Associated Press (AP) poll (the only ranked team in the conference). Defensively, they have given up only 55.7 points per game. Their only loss came in mid-November at the hands of the now-No. 1 team in the country, the Arizona Wildcats.
2. New Mexico Lobos (13-4, 4-1 MW)
With consistent play from reigning Mountain West Player of the Year Kendall Williams and its post players, this very talented New Mexico squad looks to have a very good shot of once again making the NCAA Tournament in March. Last season, the Lobos were one of the four teams in the conference to make the tournament.
3. UNLV Rebels (11-7, 2-3 MW)
Even with the departure of the No.1 overall NBA Draft pick, Anthony Bennett, the Rebels still look like an explosive unit with a lot of potential. They are 10th in the nation in rebounds, averaging 41.8 per contest, which gives them plenty of second-chance opportunities. Two of their seven losses have come to teams ranked in the AP top 10 (Arizona and San Diego State).
4. Boise State Broncos (13-5, 3-2 MW)
Boise State currently leads the Mountain West with an average of 79.2 points per game. It is also riding a two-game win streak heading into New Mexico. This is a good sign, as it will need as much momentum as it can get in order to go on the road and have a chance against the second-place Lobos.
5. Nevada Wolf Pack (9-9, 4-1 MW)
The Wolf Pack was on a four-game win streak before suffering a 9-point loss on Jan. 14th to Boise State. Star point guard Deonte Burton, who leads the conference with 20.9 points per game, is helping the Wolf Pack look to stay in the race for first place as it goes on the road to face the ‘Dogs tonight. Along with New Mexico, Nevada is one game behind for first place.
6. Colorado State Rams (12-7, 3-3 MW)
Standout juniors J.J. Avila and Daniel Bejarano lead the Rams as they average the third-most points per game in the Mountain West, with 75.8 per game. Colorado State has won three out of its last four games and hopes to win its second in a row this Saturday against New Mexico.
7. Utah State Aggies (12-5, 2-3 MW)
Stew Morrill’s Aggies are a consistent team due to their unselfish play, as they are very good at distributing the ball. Currently, they are in the top five in the country in assists. That will be a key for them down the stretch of the conference schedule.
8. Wyoming Cowboys (11-6, 2-2 MW)
The Cowboys suffered a devastating overtime loss to New Mexico. However, they have bounced back to win two games. Tonight, they will have an opportunity to go on a three-game win streak as they travel to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force.
9. Air Force Falcons (9-8, 3-3 MW)
After a rough 1-3 slate in the last four games, the Falcons are just one game above .500. They will need more consistency on the defensive side of the ball if they wish to climb back into the race, as all eight of their losses have come by an average of 11 1/2 points.
10. Fresno State Bulldogs (8-11, 1-5 MW)
Coach Rodney Terry and the ‘Dogs are in a tough situation after losing five out of six conference games. It also doesn’t help that their remaining 12 games of the season will all come against worthy Mountain West opponents.
11. San Jose State Spartans (6-12, 0-6 MW)
The Spartans haven’t won a game since late December and are six games under .500 after going 0-6 in their first six conference match-ups. Things don’t look to improve anytime soon for coach Dave Wojcik’s squad as three of its next five games are on the road.