Top three in MWC could be anyone

By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

Three teams tied atop the Mountain West Conference makes for a dramatic and confusing ending to a great year.

With a BYU win, three teams will be tied for first place in the MWC for the first time in the 10-year history of the conference. This means if each team wins its final game on Saturday, the title and No. 1 seed will go to a tiebreaker.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Utah split the season series with both New Mexico and BYU, while the Cougars also split with the Lobos. This is where things get a bit fuzzy.

The final week will be decided on how all three teams fared against the No. 4 team, San Diego State, No. 5 UNLV, and so on down the line it will go. Whichever team has the best record against the five other teams in the conference combined will be declared the No. 1 seed in the tournament in Las Vegas, held from March 10 to March 14.

Now that the code has been cracked, it’s time to shove it into the computer to see how the results will come out.

The team on the hill was on a roll for a little more than a month with eight straight wins, but losing to both the Lobos and Cougars hurt its chances of winning the title outright.

Sitting in fourth place are the Aztecs. SDSU and Utah split the season series with each team winning on its home floors. The Cougars, on the other hand, beat SDSU twice this season8212;chalk one up for the Cougars.

Sitting in fifth place is UNLV, another great home team in the MWC.

The Rebels’ home wins were big in deciphering the champion of the conference this season as all three teams split the season series8212;no points for anyone.

Wyoming was expected to have a stand out season, but has had anything but that with a 7-7 conference record. Be that as it may, the Cowboys could play the role of giant killers because they play host to both BYU and New Mexico.

So far, the Utes and BYU are leading the pack against the Pokes, with two wins this season. The Lobos have to travel to Wyoming for their last game of the season and need a win if they want to stay in the race.

New Mexico and the Cougars have already won the series between the next team in line, TCU. Utah will finish its season against the Horned Frogs on Saturday, and with the two other teams picking up two wins each against the Horned Frogs, it’s a big game against another team that didn’t meet its preseason expectations.

Colorado State and Air Force round out the bottom of the MWC and all three teams have beaten the Rams. The Cougars finish their season against the Falcons, who are at 0-14 in the MWC, a would-be huge upset if the Cadets are able to pull out a win.

With all the facts laid out, and all three teams vying to finish the season against the bottom half of the conference, BYU is in the best position to win the conference because of its two wins against the Aztecs.

If it all pans out the way it looks on paper, the Utes and Lobos will have let the title pass right over their heads.

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Tyler Cobb

After losing at New Mexico on Tuesday, coach Jim Boylen and the Utes still have a chance to share the Mountain West conference title.