Monday, April 23, 2012

Aztecs have 2-game lead in MW standings

San Diego State has surged to a 2-game lead in the Mountain West standings after a second consecutive weekend sweep.

The Aztecs swept reeling New Mexico on the road in Albuquerque to move to 6-0 in the conference.  That's good enough for a 2-game lead over second-place Boise State (4-2), which lost two of three to Colorado State over the weekend.

It looks like San Diego State's monster of a non-conference schedule, filled with national powers and tough teams, left Coach Kathy Van Wyk's squad well prepared for the Mountain West season.  The Aztecs suffered non-conference losses to the likes of UCLA, Oregon, Tennessee, Stanford, Texas, Oklahoma, California, Fresno State, Arizona and others, but facing those tough teams may have been a blessing in disguise.

With BYU dispatched off to the tougher Western Athletic Conference this season, the Aztecs now have a clearer path to the Mountain West title, and no longer have to face the 3-time defending MW champion Cougars.

Colorado State, New Mexico and UNLV are a combined 2-10 in conference play and face steep odds of getting back in the race for the MW automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that goes to the league's regular-season champion.  With only five teams in the MW this season, San Diego State is already half-way through its 12-game conference schedule, meaning a 2-game margin is huge at this point.

Boise State visits the Aztecs May 4-5, likely needing a sweep to prevent San Diego State from claiming the Mountain West championship.