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2016-’17 Mountain West Schedule: Five intriguing games

The top teams in the league should provide some of the best games during the conference slate.

Air Force v UNLV Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The upcoming season in the Mountain West should feature some familiar names near the top of the standings: San Diego State, Nevada, New Mexico, and Fresno State. The Aztecs will be looking to reclaim their place in the NCAA tournament, while the other teams will attempt to unseat them from their perch at the summit.

With the college basketball nearing closer, lets take a look at some of the most interesting games from the Mountain West schedule.

Nevada at San Diego State (January 4, Time TBD)

San Diego State is considered by many to be the favorite to win the their fourth straight regular season title. Nevada had a great offseason, and might have the best shot at spoiling the Aztecs’ title aspirations.

This matchup early in the conference season should give us an idea of how well the Wolfpack stack up, and if they really are a legit contender in the Mountain West. The Aztecs are one of the toughest teams to beat on the road, so Nevada will have to bring its A-game.

Fresno State at Utah State (January 28, Time TBD)

The race for Freshman of the Year in the Mountain West will likely feature plenty of guard play. William McDowell-White and Koby McEwen are going to be two of them in the hunt for the award.

McDowell-White is a highly rated recruit touted for his floor vision, while McEwen is more of an attacking point guard that excels at getting to the hoop. By this point in the season, the two point guards should have their roles established for their teams, and will get a chance to see how their talents match up against each other. Let’s call it the McMatchup (sorry not sorry).

San Diego State at Fresno State (February 4, Time TBD)

Despite winning 28 games last season and winning the regular season title by three games, San Diego State missed the NCAA Tournament. They can “thank” Fresno State for that honor.

The Bulldogs won a hard-fought game against the Aztecs in the championship game of the conference tournament to earn the Mountain West’s only bid to the Big Dance. The Aztecs return a deep team this year that will be hungry to show Fresno State they’re still the top dog in the league.

Nevada at UNLV (February 25, Time TBD)

Nevada is going to be good. UNLV is not going to be good. Nevada is going to be looking to pad their tournament resume and position themselves for a good seed in the conference tournament.

UNLV is going to be looking for any glimmer of promise in Marvin Menzies’s first season as head coach. A win at home for the Rebels against their in-state rivals would do wonders for his reputation with the fans, and potentially spoiling Nevada’s hopes of an at-large bid would make it even sweeter.

San Diego State at New Mexico (March 4, Time TBD)

The Aztecs absolutely dominated New Mexico in The Pit last season. The 27-point loss was the biggest home loss of the season for the Lobos. This year, this matchup could have major implications for Selection Sunday.

San Diego State can pad its resume with a road win at a tough venue, and New Mexico can make its case to get in with a late season victory against a tough opponent. It might have an effect on the final outcome of the conference standings, as both teams should be jockeying for the top spots down to the very end.