Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release No. 17

Feb. 26, 2013


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With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, No. 14/14 New Mexico holds a two-game lead over Colorado State atop the Mountain West standings. The Lobos host San Diego State on Wednesday in a nationally-televised meeting on CBS Sports Network (8:15 p.m. MT). First however, Wyoming and Air Force square off Tuesday in a Front-Range matchup that will air on Root Sports (7 p.m. MT).

MOUNTAIN WEST RANKS SECOND IN CONFERENCE RPI
The Mountain West is ranked second in conference RPI through games of Feb. 24, marking the third straight year the league has been among the top five. The Mountain West has ranked fifth in each of the last two seasons.

MOUNTAIN WEST IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
With only postseason competition remaining, the Mountain West is on pace to post the best composite out-of-conference record in the league's 14-year history, as the current .795 (101-26) win percentage currently ranks well ahead of the .756 (102-33) clip MW teams compiled last season. The Mountain West has finished with a .700 or better win percentage in non-conference play each of the last three seasons and four times overall.

MW TEAMS IN NCAA RPI RANKINGS
Seven of the nine Mountain West teams are ranked in the top 75 of the Feb. 25 NCAA RPI rankings, marking the highest percentage (.778) of any conference in the country. In addition, the MW is the only conference with all of its teams ranked in the top 160 of the RPI, and joins the Big East and Big Ten as the only three conferences with at least three teams in the RPI top 15.

MW IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
League-leading New Mexico (23-4, 10-2 MW) is ranked No. 14 in both of the latest Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches' polls.

Five different Mountain West teams have been ranked in at least one national poll this season, marking a first for the Conference. The Mountain West is one of five conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12) to have five or more teams ranked in at least one top-25 poll at some point this season, and one of four (Big East, Big Ten, Big 12) to have 50 percent or more of its teams appear in at least one poll at some point.

The MW has had at least one team ranked in both polls for 31 consecutive weeks and two teams listed in the AP poll for 26 of the last 29 weeks. At least two MW teams have been ranked in the Coaches' poll 27 of the last 30 weeks.

ROAD WARRIORS
San Diego State is 25-9 (.735) in true road games since March 6, 2010. That is the fourth-highest winning percentage in the country during that time frame, trailing only Kansas (.828), Murray State (.789) and Wichita State (.788).

FOUR MOUNTAIN WEST TEAMS REACH 20-WIN MARK
New Mexico (23-4) has reached the 20-win mark for the 20th time in the past 27 seasons, including all six under head coach Steve Alford. This marks the Lobos' 26th 20-win campaign overall, with all of them coming since the 1963-64 season.

Colorado State (21-6) has recorded back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time since accomplishing the feat during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons. Overall, the Rams have hit the 20-win mark eight times in program history.

UNLV (21-6) has 20 wins for the seventh consecutive season. It is the first time since 1986-93 the Runnin' Rebels have won 20-plus games in seven straight seasons.

San Diego State (20-7) has recorded its school-record eighth straight 20-win season and ninth of Steve Fisher's tenure. The Aztecs had a total of nine 20-win campaigns in the 78 seasons prior to Fisher's arrival on campus, which includes just two 20-win campaigns at the Division I level.

UNLV has racked up a league-high 10 20-win campaigns in 14 seasons as a member of the Mountain West, followed by San Diego State (nine), New Mexico (eight), Air Force and Wyoming (three each) and Colorado State (two).

DIALING FROM LONG DISTANCE
UNLV currently holds the NCAA record for consecutive games with at least one made 3-pointer. Since the official adoption of the 3-point rule at the start of the 1986-87 season, the Runnin' Rebels have connected on at least one trey in all 868 of their games. UNLV, Princeton, Vanderbilt are the only three teams in the country to have made at least one 3-pointer in every one of their games since the rule was implemented.

400 WINS AND COUNTING
With the addition of Colorado State's Larry Eustachy, the Mountain West is now home to three 400-win head coaches. New Mexico's Steve Alford has accumulated a 457-233 (.662) record over a 21-year head coaching career, while San Diego State's Steve Fisher is 462-249 (.650) in 21 seasons as a head coach. Eustachy has amassed a 423-264 (.616) career record, also over a 21-year span.

WORKING OVERTIME
Fresno State, Nevada and New Mexico have each played two overtime games in 2012-13. Air Force and UNLV share the Mountain West record (five) for most overtime contests in a single season (both in 2001-02). The MW record for most overtime games in Conference-only contests is four, shared by UNLV (2001-02) and New Mexico (2006-07).

UNLV'S BENNETT ON ROBERTSON, TISDALE AWARD WATCH LISTS
UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett is on the 12-player Midseason Watch Lists for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac, which goes to the National Player of the Year, and the 2013 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award, which is given to the National Freshman of the Year. Bennett is the only player to be included on both lists.

MOUNTAIN WEST DUO ON WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP 25
San Diego State junior guard Jamaal Franklin and UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett are on the 2012-13 John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list. Chosen by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the list is made up of 25 student-athletes who, based on their performances in November, December, and the beginning of January, are the frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

Coming Up in Mountain West Men's Basketball
Game Time TV/Webstream
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
*WYOMING at AIR FORCE 7 p.m. MT ROOT
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
*NEVADA at BOISE STATE 6 p.m. MT Live Stream
*FRESNO STATE at COLORADO STATE 7 p.m. MT Live Stream
*SAN DIEGO STATE at NO. 14/14 NEW MEXICO 8:15 p.m. MT CBSSN
SATURDAY, MARCH 2
*UNLV at NEVADA 1 p.m. PT NBCSN
*WYOMING at NO. 14/14 NEW MEXICO 3 p.m. MT ROOT
*COLORADO STATE at BOISE STATE 6 p.m. MT Live Stream
*AIR FORCE at FRESNO STATE 7 p.m. PT Live Stream
Legend
* - Mountain West game.
CAPS denotes Mountain West team.
Bold denotes home team.
Rankings listed according to Associated Press/USA Today Coaches' Top 25 polls.
All dates and times subject to change.
Live stats available for most games.