The University of New Mexico was made the preseason pick to win the Western Athletic Conference basketball championship in a poll of the media Monday at the annual WAC Basketball Media Day in Denver.

The Lobos, who return five of their top six players from last year's team, received 16 first-place votes and 206 points. Wyoming received five first-place votes and 187 points. Colorado State and BYU each received one first-place vote.Colorado State was picked to finish third (152 points), UTEP fourth (140), BYU fifth (125), Utah sixth , Hawaii seventh , San Diego State eighth and Air Force ninth .

"New Mexico could be in the Top 20 this year," said Colorado State coach Boyd Grant.

The Lobos, 20-14 overall, finished fifth in the WAC last season with a 9-7 record. Their top returnee is 7-foot-2 senior Luc Longley, who averaged 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds a game last season.

- Doug Robinson