Well consider this, another unranked Mountain West squad picked up a crucial, resume-building win and evened the playing field within the league even more.
Let’s be serious, that fact is basically becoming the common theme for the MWC this season and on Saturday afternoon, things were no different. This time the spotlight shone bright for an emerging Air Force squad whose victory on Saturday was their fifth in a row. After an 0-2 start within the conference, the Falcons are rolling and there’s no better resume-building victory than the one they achieved in their first game of February.
Despite a 25-point, 10-rebound performance from all-Mountain West performer Jamaal Franklin, Air Force survived San Diego State and moved to 14-6 overall and 5-2 within the conference. Surely, that’s a mark and a victory that deserves some credit and hype moving forward.
Are the Falcons a legitimate threat as a candidate for an at-large bid? Right now, the answer is yes.
There is still plenty of basketball still to be played, including a return trip to San Diego State for these Falcons on Mar. 6. However, Air Force’s five consecutive wins are enough to warrant the attention that they have earned. Michael Lyons paced the Falcons with 20 points in their biggest win of the season to date and believe it or not, it’s Air Force who actually holds a one-game edge on SDSU in the conference standings.
The Falcons face a pivotal two-game road stand next week as they must travel to New Mexico and Nevada. The hype is at one of its highest moments in program history for the time being and that’s a situation that is well deserved.
The victory over No. 22 San Diego State on Saturday moved the Falcons’ all-time mark against ranked teams up to a whopping 3-78. Ironically enough, their last two wins against ranked opponents have come at home against San Diego State. Deja vu was a theme for Air Force on Saturday, but this time it may be jump starting a bandwagon run towards March.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS