It was an interesting week in the Mountain West Conference as New Mexico surged into first-place and Nevada-Las Vegas lost twice to fall two games off the pace.

The Rebels (19-6), 7-4) went from red hot to ice cold as they lost by double digits to both New Mexico and San Diego State.

In addition to beating UNLV, the Lobos (23-3, 9-2) also eked out an overtime road win at Utah and are in sole possession of first place, a half-game ahead of Brigham Young (23-3, 8-2). The Cougars walloped Air Force in their only game of the week.

Beating UNLV helped San Diego State (18-7, 7-4) in terms of a possible NCAA at-large berth as the Aztecs are now tied for third in the Mountain West with the Rebels. San Diego State freshman star Kawhi Leonard was named the conference’s Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in two games.

UNLV fell out of the AP Top 25 after the disastrous week. New Mexico is 12th in the poll released Monday and BYU is 16th.

Elsewhere around the conference, improving Colorado State (15-9, 6-4) has a chance at an NIT bid if it can finish strong. Four of the Rams’ next five games are against the four teams ahead of them in the standings.

Utah (11-13, 4-6) and TCU (12-14, 4-7) are battling for sixth place in the league, while Wyoming (9-16, 2-9) and Air Force (9-15, 1-10) are both moving towards 20-loss seasons.

For a stellar in-depth look at the Mountain West Conference, click here:  http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/mwest/home.htm

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