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Best of the West: 3 conference races could be decided on one night

Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer, right, looks to shoot the ball over St. Mary's forward Desmond Simmons during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Moraga, Calif.
Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer, right, looks to shoot the ball over St. Mary's forward Desmond Simmons during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Moraga, Calif.
Beck Diefenbach, Associated Press

For many die-hard basketball fans in the west, Saturday has been circled on the calendar for weeks.

On one night, Arizona travels to Utah where it could essentially clinch the Pac-12 Conference regular-season title or end up in a dead heat with the Utes. Meanwhile, San Diego State hosts Boise State in a battle that could decide Mountain West Conference or end the week with three teams all tied up at the top with one week left before its conference tournament.

Among the mid-majors, Eastern Washington and Montana battle it out Saturday. They enter this week in a three-way tie in the Big Sky Conference loss column, joined by Sacramento State.

Then there’s a bubble team like BYU that heads to juggernaut Gonzaga in search for a win that could help launch the Cougars back into the big dance.

All of these scenarios will make Saturday a great day for college hoops.

But after sorting it all out, here is an attempt to rank the top 10 teams in the West.


Note: Honorable-mention candidates are based on leaders of conferences that did not appear in the top 10 and do not necessarily mean they are the top teams outside of the chosen top 10. Conferences included in these power rankings are Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, Western Athletic and West Coast. Use of KenPom.com, Massey and RPI ratings are not the absolute basis of the power rankings, but an idea where teams hold up in national metrics ratings.