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2/23/08 MWC Basketball Preview

(21-6) (15-9)

John M. Huntsman Center 12PM MT TV:

The Lobos have found themselves clearly on the bubble of the NCAA tournament with 21 wins and a current 5 game winning streak. The Utes are not making the NCAA unless they win the conference tournament, but have been playing nearly at the level of New Mexico as of late. Road games were a problem for New Mexico but they have won their last 2 road games being at San Diego State and then crushing Air Force at Clune Arena a very tough place to play. The difference in this game is which team will give, because the Utes have the best defense in the league while New Mexico has the 3 point shooting in the league. New Mexico is looking to surpass UNLV as the second seed, but that does not really matter since the tournament is in Vegas so New Mexico might be better off dropping the 4th seed and missing UNLV until the finals. I am not saying New Mexico should throw this game or other games, but they might be better off in the 4th spot. Utah right now is on pace to be in the 4th or 5th seed, and possibly even get into the third spot since the rest of the schedule is pretty light with the exception of the New Mexico and at UNLV. This game has a lot to do with seeding and when last time these teams met it went into overtime with New Mexico winning by 10. This game will come down who can execute their strengths and slow down the oppositions weakness, but look for the Utes to pull this game out with their defense and the sharp shooter Johnnie Bryant.

(19-6) (10-15)

Auditorium Arena 230PM MT TV:

We all know Wyoming is not that good overall, but at home in wonderful Laramie they are an above average team. UNLV has slipped by getting crushed by BYU on the road and also Utah as well. This game should be a walk in the park for UNLV to get their game plan down. Wyoming does have similar offensive output as UNLV, but the difference is the defense with these two teams where Wyoming does not have a great defense. UNLV should roll this game in Wyoming to get their 20th win.

(13-12) (6-19)

Moby Arena 7PM MT TV:

Air Force needs this win to almost guarantee that they will not fall into the 8/9 spot.  This game also looks to be one of the last 2 games for Colorado State to get their first conference win on the year.   Even though this road game is only a bus ride for the Falcons, Air Force does not play all that well on the road during this season.  Colorado State has the one chance in Marcus Walker, their scorer, who can take on the Falcons defense.  Air Force will win this game, because of their style and discipline on the offensive end.

(21-5) (17-9)

Cox Arena 8PM PT TV: CSTV PPV

San Diego State is looking to get back to their winning ways and trying to get back into the NCAA at-large birth.  A win at home over a good BYU team will help their RPI and quality wins.   In the Aztecs last 8 they have gone a 3-5 record and dropped  from the top of the league to the middle of the pack.  BYU has been less then spectacular on the road and with SDSU being a solid team in the league, this game could come down to the wire.  BYU has been playing better then anyone in the league by winning 9 straight and only being really challenged in less then half of those games.   This game should be the best game of the day with two high powered offenses, and this game could be the one that stops BYU 9 game winning streak.

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