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The MWC at the Halfway Point

February 5, 2012

First lets take a look at the standings:

San Diego State 6-1
UNLV 5-2
New Mexico 5-2
Wyoming 4-3
Colorado State 4-3
TCU 3-4
Air Force 1-6
Boise State 0-7

San Diego State has surprised most people with a 6-1 start including wins over UNLV and @ New Mexico. Also on their resume is a road win at Wyoming. They looked to have hit a bit of a lull with a blowout loss at Colorado State and a near miss at home against Boise State. They will be tough to catch if they hold serve at home in the second half of the schedule. Their pivotal game will be when they host surging New Mexico.

Speaking of New Mexico, they lost their two of their first three MWC games but are now clicking on all cylinders with four straight wins with an average scoring margin of about 25 points! They begin the second half hosting Wyoming. WIn that and follow it with two wins @SDSU and home to UNLV and they will be in the driver’s seat for the run-in to the conference crown.

UNLV ended the first half with a bit of a bump in Laramie. They are a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to play at home and on the road. Blowout home wins but everything on the road has been 2 points or less in regulation including a pair of OT wins over bottom feeders AFA and Boise.

Wyoming and CSU both have a big home win over a team above them in the standings. WYoming has played all the other top teams at home and CSU has only played one of them at home. WYO holds valuable road wins over AFA and Boise while CSU has yet to win on the conference. Both teams have lot of work to do in terms of getting an at-large bid to the NCAA. Wyoming will have to go 6-1 in the second half and CSU 5-2. Anything less and they will need to win the MWC Tournament to receive the ultimate post-season team award.

TCU has shown flashes with a nice home win over Wyoming. WHile they are 3-4, their schedule was loaded with easier home games in the first half and you can look for them to establish themselves solidly in 6th place as the season progresses. Unless they somehow beat CSU in the first game of the second half and use that as a springboard.

I don’t know what to say about Air Force and Boise State. They have played below expectations in terms of both competitiveness and record. Air Force’s lone win came on the first day against Boise State and the Falcons look to have hit a major wall after suffering a 40-point loss at home to UNM. Boise is getting better but still don’t look like they belong in the MWC as they are forced to play a lot of young and inexperienced players. Both teams are good enough to score upsets and might have a say in the run-in.

MWC Honors at the Halfway point

Remember… To the leaders belong the spoils.

My first team:

Jamaal Franklin – SDSU
Chase Tapley – SDSU
Mike Moser – UNLV
Drew Gordon – UNM
Leonard Washington – WYO

Individual Awards

Player of the Year – Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
Newcomer of the Year – Mike Moser, UNLV
Freshman of the Year – Hugh Greenwood, UNM
Defensive Player of the year – Leonard Washington, Wyoming
Sixth Man of the Year – Philip McDonald, UNM

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