Victories against San Diego State and UNLV last week catapulted New Mexico into the latest national top-25 polls. With four games left to play in the regular-season schedule, the league-leading Lobos hold a two-game advantage over both the Aztecs and Runnin' Rebels.
With its victories over then-No. 15 San Diego State and No. 11 UNLV last week, New Mexico is the only team in the country this season to win back-to-back outings as an unranked squad against opponents ranked in the top-15 of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll. The victories vaulted the Lobos into both national polls for the first time this season.
With just two weeks left to play in the regular season, the Mountain West is the only Conference in the nation where every team has a winning overall record.
The Mountain West remains fifth in the latest conference RPI rankings, ahead of the ACC, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, Conference USA and Pac-12.
Four Mountain West teams are ranked in the top-33 of the Feb. 20 NCAA RPI report. UNLV leads the league with a No. 12 listing, followed by New Mexico at No. 26, Colorado State at No. 30 and San Diego State at No. 33.
The Mountain West is one of three conferences to have at least four teams in the top-33 of the RPI, trailing only the Big East and Big Ten, who have five teams apiece. Overall, no Mountain West team is ranked lower than 169. The Mountain West and Big Ten are the only two conferences to have each of its teams ranked 169 or better in the RPI.
Wins over San Diego State and UNLV last week propelled New Mexico into the national top-25 rankings for the first time this season. The Lobos entered the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls at No. 18 and 21, respectively. The Runnin' Rebels and Aztecs remain in the rankings as well, with UNLV listed at No. 21 by AP and No. 20 by the Coaches, while SDSU is 24th and 25th in the AP and Coaches polls, respectively.
The Mountain West is one of five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten) to have at least three teams ranked in the top-25 of both polls. This marks the third straight season the Mountain West has had three teams ranked in the top-25 polls at the same time at some point during the season.
Since the start of the 2010-11 season, San Diego State is tied for the nation's fourth-best win percentage (.857) and number of wins (54).
UNLV and Colorado State are ranked in the nation's top-25 for longest active home win streaks. The Runnin' Rebels have won 13 straight games at the Thomas and Mack Center, and are tied for 14th with Stony Brook, while the Rams have an 11-game win streak at Moby Arena and are tied for 18th with American and George Mason.
New Mexico takes a seven-game win streak into Tuesday's outing at Colorado State. The Lobos, whose last loss was on Jan. 21 at No. 14/20 UNLV (80-63), are tied with six other teams (LIU Brooklyn, Missouri and Syracuse) for the 14th-longest active win streak nationally.
In 2011-12, the Mountain West is 11-3 against the Pac-12, with the MW's top three teams (New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV) combining for an 8-0 mark, including Aztec and Runnin' Rebel wins over current Pac-12 co-leader California. Over the last three seasons, the MW owns a mark of 20-12 against the Pac-12. During that three-year span, the MW has not only left the Pac-12 in its wake, it has also gone 28-8 against the Western Athletic Conference; 19-7 vs. the West Coast Conference; 20-4 against the Big West Conference; and 25-7 vs. teams from the Big Sky Conference.
Fans from around the Mountain West can have their men's basketball questions answered by MW Senior Writer Mick McGrane in McGrane's Mailbag. Questions can be submitted several ways - by email (email@example.com), through Twitter (@MWCMick), or by comment on McGrane's Take, the MW official blog on TheMWC.com
The 2011-12 MW men's basketball schedule features a minimum of 80 telecasts available on a national basis. All 56 Conference regular-season match-ups and all eight MW Championship contests are included in the television broadcasts. MW fans have the opportunity to watch men's basketball games on the league's family of networks - The Mtn. (DirecTV 616), CBS Sports Network (DirecTV 613) and NBC Sports Network (DirecTV 603).
Coming Up in Mountain West Men's Basketball
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21
*No. 18/21 NEW MEXICO at COLORADO STATE
8 p.m. MT
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22
*TCU at AIR FORCE
6 p.m. MT
*BOISE STATE at No. 21/20 UNLV
7:15 p.m. PT
*WYOMING at No. 24/25 SAN DIEGO STATE
7:30 p.m. MT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25
*AIR FORCE at No. 21/20 UNLV
1 p.m. PT
*BOISE STATE at WYOMING
2 p.m. MT
*No. 18/21 NEW MEXICO at TCU
6 p.m. CT
*COLORADO STATE at No. 24/25 SAN DIEGO STATE
7 p.m. PT
* - Mountain West game.
CAPS denotes Mountain West team.
The Mtn. - The MountainWest Sports Network
CBSSN - CBS Sports Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
Rankings listed according to Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Top-25 polls.