Editor's note: Each week, Yahoo! Sports college basketball writer Jason King will rank teams in each of the Big Six conferences plus the best of the rest. Sunday's entry – The Non-Big Six conferences.
(Through March 7 games)
Utah blew out LSU and beat Gonzaga. UNLV topped Louisville and Arizona. New Mexico owns a 33-point win over Mississippi.
So don't even think about cringing when multiple teams from the Mountain West Conference earn berths in this year's NCAA tournament. This year more than ever, the league has proved it's legit.
The regular season ended with Utah, Brigham Young and New Mexico in a three-way tie for first place with 12-4 conference records. All three of those schools could get berths. On the fringe are UNLV and San Diego State. The two teams squared off Saturday, and the Aztecs emerged with a 57-46 win.
Now on to the rankings. Last week's rank in parenthesis.
|The Tigers completed their third straight undefeated season in Conference USA by defeating Tulane on Saturday. John Calipari's squad has now won 58 straight games against C-USA opponents. Seniors Robert Dozier, Antonio Anderson and Chance McGrady have won 132 games in their four-year careers. (1)|
|The Zags open play in the West Coast Conference tournament Sunday against Santa Clara, which defeated San Diego 80-69 on Saturday. Gonzaga has won 16 of its last 17 games, with the lone loss coming against Memphis. (2)|
|3.||St. Mary's |
|To get recovering star Patrick Mills more playing time, the Gaels have scheduled an extra game against Eastern Washington that will take place this Friday after the West Coast Conference tournament and before the NCAA tournament. (3)|
|Anyone looking for a basketball fix on Tuesday night should tune in to the Bulldogs' Horizon League tournament game against Cleveland State. Butler escaped with a 58-56 victory when the two teams met on Feb. 28. (5)|
|Xavier is one of the best teams in the country – and also one of the most puzzling. The Musketeers own victories against schools such as Memphis, Missouri, LSU and Auburn. But in the last month they've lost to Duquesne, Charlotte and, on Saturday, Richmond. (4)|
|Stephen Curry's 43-point effort against Appalachian State on Saturday marked the fourth time this season that he's eclipsed the 40-point barrier. Curry has scored in the 30s 10 times this season. Davidson plays Charleston in a Southern Conference tournament game Sunday. (7)|
|7.||Brigham Young |
|By defeating Air Force on Saturday the Cougars claimed at least a share of the league title for the third consecutive season. That hasn't happened in 25 years. Lee Cummard scored 17 points in the victory, including eight in the final two minutes. (8)|
|8.||New Mexico |
|Saturday's 74-73 victory over Wyoming gave the Lobos a share of the conference title for the first time in 15 years. Coach Steve Alford has won a school record 45 games in his first two years. (NR)|
|The Utes snapped a two-game losing skid by defeating TCU on Saturday. Still, Jim Boylen's squad has won nine of its last 11 games and has as impressive of a non-conference resume as anyone in the league. That will work in the Utes' favor on Selection Sunday. (6)|
|The Saints have enough talent to make a run in this year's NCAA tournament. Of course, they have to make it first. Doing so means winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. Siena plays a second-round game Sunday against Fairfield. (NR)|