New Mexico has been far and away the best team in the Mountain West since the beginning of conference play, and Colorado State has all but secured the runner-up position.
The Rams (22-6, 9-4 Mountain West) have played outstanding this season, with their only conference losses coming from Mountain West elites UNLV, San Diego State and the Lobos. Colorado State sits one game ahead of the third place Rebels, with Boise State remaining as their only legitimate challenge before conference tournament play begins.
Though the Broncos were predicted to finish in the bottom portion of the Mountain West in the preseason, head coach Leon Rice’s squad has emerged as a difficult challenge for road teams. Boise State leads the Mountain West in both scoring offense and three point field goal percentage and, when hot, is impossible to out shoot. The Broncos are incredibly streaky, but are on the cusp of being a legitimate contender in the conference.
Colorado State, on the other hand, plays a much more well-rounded game than the Broncos. Ranking third in the nation in rebounding, the Rams remain as the only team that poses a threat to New Mexico’s championship expectations. Boise State may shoot the lights out, but Colorado State’s ability to control the ball in the half court makes their visit to Boise, Idaho much less nerve racking.
If the Rams finish Saturday’s matchup with the win, the No. 2 seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament will be secured, postponing their inevitable match up with the Lobos until later in the tournament.