I’m feeling pretty confident. Pretty solid. Pretty sure things have turned for the better.

I’ve gone .500 the last two times picking Mountain West Conference basketball games, but the thing that makes me believe the ship has been righted is this:

I managed an identical 2-2 record as my family dog on the Saturday games.

Ellie May is a sharp one. Breaking even with her is a bigger accomplishment than keeping her off the bed at night.

It’s also a big enough step to go it alone for the weekday picks this round. No celebrity guest or pet. Who needs them?

Forget I asked that.


BRIGHAM YOUNG (minus-12) at AIR FORCE: UNLV was a 10-point favorite in Colorado Springs on Saturday and won by 21. BYU is in the midst of a stretch where its confidence comes roaring back. Nothing boosts the ego like a game against the Falcons.

My pick: BYU

WYOMING (plus-14) at NEW MEXICO: The Lobos had their game won at Utah on Saturday. It was finished. Done. Over. Then they gave it back. That’s a big emotional letdown to overcome in three days, and 14 seems a high number, even against a Wyoming team that couldn’t guard Ellie the Dog.

My pick: Wyoming

SAN DIEGO STATE (plus-4.5) at UNLV: The Aztecs are more banged up than Michael Phelps’ reputation. The Rebels are honoring Las Vegas native Greg Maddux at halftime. Man, talk about a gimme!

(Small note to consider: I have picked every SDSU game wrong this season.)

My pick: UNLV

Me: 10-17.
Guest celebrities:
Matt Youmans, UNLV basketball beat writer for the R-J: 1-2.
Bridget Graney, my 7-year old daughter: 3-1.
Coin flip: 1-3.
Ellie May, the family dog: 2-2.