AIR FORCE (3-23 overall, 0-13 MWC)
Playbook: The Falcons are very active on the floor, battling for
everything they can get.
They’ll win if: They are the underdog and no one expects them to
They’ll lose if: They play Air Force basketball. Falcons haven’t
won a postseason game since entering the Mountain West and no team
wants to be the Falcons’ first prey.
Players to watch: Letricia Castillo (12.0 ppg); Amoy Jackson
(5.5 rpg); Jennifer Roesch (2.7 assists).
Colorado State (17-9, 8-5)
Playbook: The Rams have a balanced scoring attack, along with
tough defensive players.
They’ll win if: They continue to play good basketball (five wins
in six games).
They’ll lose if: They don’t keep opponents off the boards, and
fail to play all 40 minutes.
Players to watch: Vanessa Espinoza (13.1 ppg); Lindsay Thomas
(7.2, rpg); Jasai Ferrucho (5.6 assists)
NEW MEXICO (19-7, 11-2)
Playbook: The Lobos style of play is in-your-face and takes
advantage of the energy that fills The Pit. Their style is also
referred to as “Pit Ball.”
They’ll win if: The nation’s top scoring defense continues to
They’ll lose if: A lapse on defense could spell defeat.
Players to watch: Lindsey Arndt (10.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg); Mandi Moore
Utah (21-6, 11-2)
Playbook: They keep the scores low with ball-control, using a
lot of the shot clock to wear out defenses and get the best
possible look at the basket.
They’ll win if: A sticky defense and a high-powered scorer in
Smith take care of business.
They’ll lose if: They don’t play Utah basketball and Smith
doesn’t produce points.
Player to watch: Kim Smith (15.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg); Shona Thorburn
UNLV (20-6, 9-4)
Playbook: Henry is the scoring force behind the Runnin’
They’ll win if: They ride the confidence from their first win at
BYU in over 29 years this past weekend.
They’ll lose if: The conference’s leading scorer, RanDee Henry,
Players to watch: RanDee Henry (18.6 ppg); Sherry McCracklin
(10.3 rpg); Sheena Moore (assist 3.0)
Wyoming (5-8, 9-17)
Playbook: It’s a one-women ball show: give it to Ashley Elliot
and let her score.
They’ll win if: Steady improvement continues and the Cowgirls
find a way to play well when the time is right.
They’ll lose if: The Cowgirls can’t find someone other than
Elliot to score. Elliot can’t take and make all the team’s
Players to watch: Elliot (16.5 ppg); Michelle Leiber (6.3 rpg);
Brenda Pickup (5.0 assists)
Brigham Young (15-12, 5-8)
Playbook: Find the open player and let them shoot. Everyone on
the floor is a scoring asset.
They’ll win if: They use a deep bench to wear out the
They’ll lose if: They have a defensive lapse for even a second,
allowing the opposing team to sneak by.
Players to watch: Julie Sullivan (10.1 ppg, 3.5 assists);
Danielle Cheesman (6.0 rpg)
San Diego (8-18, 3-10)
Playbook: This team plays hard nose, in your face, diving on the
They’ll win if: The starters, each of whom can score from each
position on the floor, get hot.
They’ll lose if: The defense continues to give up too many
points. The Aztecs must tighten up on defense and stop the opponent
from getting open looks.
Players to watch: Michelle Elliot (12.4 ppg, 2.0 assists);
Ashlee Dunlap (8.1 rpg)