Power 6 Win
Johnny McCants and New Mexico State travel to Pac-12 country on Wednesday looking to grab the WAC's first Power 6 win on the men's side in 2021-22. Courtesy Charlie Hurley/NMSU Athletics.

The Chicago State Women Did It, But the Men Have Zero Power 6 Wins

For the Chicago State women’s basketball team, wins have been difficult to come by. Since the 2017-18 season, the Chicago State women’s basketball team has a combined eight wins. As it sits in 2021-22, the Cougars are currently 1-8 overall.

However, that one win was, in the eyes of the beholder, a big one. And it is a win that has not come on the men’s side. Aaliyah Collins had a game-high 25 points as the Cougars knocked off Big Ten foe Wisconsin in Madison on Nov. 22.

It was the second win over a Power 6 Conference opponent on either side of the spectrum for WAC teams.

So, if the Chicago State women can get a Power 6 win, someone on the men’s side should be able to as well, right?

Well, it has been a struggle in 2021-22 thus far. Currently, WAC teams are 0-17 against Power 6 opponents this season. Remember, the Power 6 Conferences are the Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, and the Big East.

And the chances for a Power 6 win are slim now that non-conference play is winding down. New Mexico State gets a chance on Wednesday night. The Aggies face Washington State in Pullman. Chris Jans has three Power 6 wins under his belt during the holidays. In 2017-18, New Mexico State beat Illinois and Miami. In 2018-19, the Aggies beat Washington State. And in 2019-20, New Mexico State beat Mississippi State.

Can the Aggies do it again on Wednesday night? Well, the task is a big one as Washington State is coming off a home loss to South Dakota State on Saturday. The Cougars are long, athletic and big. Guards Michael Flowers and Noah Williams will provide a challenge for the Aggie guards. And 6-11 freshman Mouhamed Gueye is a rim protector.

Chances Remaining for a Power 6 Win in 2021-22

Wednesday’s contest is one of six remaining games against Power 6 opponents. Both Seattle and Utah Valley play at Washington. California Baptist goes to No. 8 Arizona on Saturday. Stephen F. Austin is at No. 7 Kansas on Saturday, as well. And Chicago State goes to No. 11 Iowa State on Tuesday. And, according to KenPom, none of the WAC schools will win any of these six contests.

The best chances for a WAC school to pick up a Power 6 win are Wednesday night for New Mexico State. And the games at Washington for Seattle and Utah Valley. KenPom has Arizona beating California Baptist by 23. The prediction is Kansas beats SFA by 22. And KenPom has Iowa State beating Chicago State by 29.

But, will it happen? Utah Valley has lost two straight after knocking off then-12-ranked BYU on Dec. 1. Seattle has a week to prepare for the Huskies after beating UC San Diego on Sunday.

And then there is New Mexico State. The Aggies have depth. And now that Nate Pryor is healthy, a true point guard. Plus, Pryor has played at Washington State so he is familiar with the surroundings. Donnie Tillman is still out and the Aggies miss his energy on the floor. But, it could be a coming out party for Clayton Henry on Wednesday night. Henry saw his first action of the season on Saturday at Loyola Marymount.

After a really bad Tuesday night where WAC teams went 0-4 against Division I opponents, a Power 6 win would be very welcome.

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