Mountain West Conference Basketball Power Rankings: Dec. 21 Edition
The top three teams in the MWC had another strong week, going 7-0 and improving their combined record to 32-2. The MWC is one of only four conferences nationwide with three or more teams who have already notched 10 victories.
This week featured only minor shakeups in the conference power rankings and the top six remained unchanged. With several holiday tournaments on the schedule for the coming week, more shuffling could be on the docket.
The start of conference play looms just two weeks away.
9. Air Force
Previous Rank: 9
Last Week: After a 5-2 start, the Falcons have lost two straight, most recently at home to NAU (4-7). Air Force hit just 3-of-13 3-pointers and was 11-of-21 from the free-throw line.
This Week: The Falcons will stay at home and try to get back on track against UC Davis (3-7). The Aggies are 1-4 on the road.
Previous Rank: 7
Last Week: The Horned Frogs sleepwalked to an easy victory over St Gregory’s on Sunday. Edvinas Ruzgas scored a career high 32 points and hit seven of nine threes.
This Week: TCU will get more of a challenge this Wednesday as they travel to Houston (5-3) to take on the Cougars. Bragging rights for the fifth best team in Texas are on the line.
Previous Rank: 8
Last Week: Wyoming gets the nod over TCU this week thanks to their current hot streak. Tuesday’s loss at Tennessee (8-2) is the Cowboys' only defeat in their last five games. They recovered quickly by taking care of South Dakota (6-5) at home. Afam Muojeke totaled 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 turnovers in the two games.
This Week: A tough road game at Northern Iowa (8-1) awaits the Cowboys on Wednesday, part of the inaugural MWC/MVC challenge. The Missouri Valley currently has four victories to the Mountain West’s two.
Previous Rank: 6
Last Week: The Utes suffered their fourth home defeat of the season on Saturday, as Illinois State (8-2) topped Utah 73-63. David Foster had four blocks and is averaging 5.6 blocks over his last five games.
This Week: The Utes will look to right the ship on Wednesday when they take on Pepperdine (3-9) on the road. Pepperdine is just 1-6 at home this year and is on a six game losing streak overall.
5. Colorado State
Previous Rank: 5
Last Week: The Rams continue to play well, improving to 7-0 at home with another solid victory over NAU (4-7) on Saturday. In their last three games, Travis Franklin and Dorian Green are averaging a combined 37.3 points. Colorado State won all three games.
This Week: On Tuesday, the Rams will take on struggling UCLA (3-7) on the road. They’ll try to extend their current win streak to five games while adding to the Bruins' misery.
4. San Diego State
Previous Rank: 4
Last Week: The Aztecs missed out on another opportunity for a quality victory, falling to Arizona State (8-3) on the road, 55-52. Freshman Chase Tapley scored a career high 17 points in the loss.
This Week: On Tuesday, San Diego State will try to bounce back as they visit Drake (5-6) as part of the MWC/MVC Challenge. The Aztecs are 3-3 on the road.
Previous Rank: 3
Last Week: The Cougars won two games at home as part of the preliminary rounds of the HoopsTV Las Vegas Classic. BYU defeated Wagner (1-9) on Thursday and raced out to a 33-2 lead as they annihilated Eastern Washington (4-7) on Saturday. Jimmer Fredette led four Cougars in double figures with 20 points.
This week: BYU will complete the second leg of the HoopsTV Las Vegas Classic at the Orleans Arena. They’ll take on Nevada (6-4) on Tuesday and either Nebraska (8-2) or Tulsa (9-1) on Wednesday.
Previous Rank: 2
Last Week: The Rebels bounced back nicely from their first loss of the season by racking up three comfortable victories. They took down SUU (3-8) on the road and knocked off Weber State (5-5) and USC Upstate (1-9) at home. Matt Shaw made his first three starts of the year and hit five of the seven three pointers he attempted.
This Week: UNLV travels to Hawaii to participate in the Diamond Head Classic. They’ll play SMU (4-3) in their opening game. Hawaii (5-4), USC (5-4), St. Mary’s (9-1), College of Charleston (5-4), Northeastern (2-5), and Western Michigan (4-4) round out the eight-team field.
1. New Mexico
Previous Rank: 1
Last Week: The Lobos cruised past NAU (4-7) at home on Wednesday before surviving a scare on Saturday against Creighton (4-6). Darrington Hobson scored 22 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to help New Mexico overcome a 12-point halftime deficit.
This Week: The Lobos will head out on the road to take on Oral Roberts on Wednesday. The Golden Eagles are 6-6 overall but a perfect 4-0 at home.
As long as the Lobos keep winning, they'll stay at the top of this list.