UNLV BASKETBALL:

Rebels still unranked following victory over Lobos

BYU moves up in both polls, now lone MWC team with a ranking

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With a tough week of road games finished, how do you expect UNLV to perform in its home MWC opener against San Diego State on Wednesday night?

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UNLV came home from this weekend's trip to New Mexico with a nice split in its first two Mountain West Conference games.

A 77-73 loss Wednesday at BYU followed by a 74-62 victory Saturday over the Lobos kept the Rebels (13-3 overall, 1-1 MWC) within range of the Top 25 polls, but they did not crack the lists this week.

In the Associated Press poll, UNLV's 28 votes are up from 12 a week ago. In the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, UNLV took in 26 votes after receiving 39 a week ago.

The Rebels come home this week for a pair of league games, beginning 7 p.m. Wednesday with San Diego State (12-4) and followed by a 7 p.m. Saturday game against Utah (8-7).

New Mexico dropped out of both polls after going 0-2 to start league play. Before falling to the Rebels, the Lobos dropped a 74-64 decision Tuesday at San Diego State. Steve Alford's team still received 59 votes from the AP and 54 from the nation's coaches.

BYU, now 16-1 following an impressive Saturday road win at UTEP, is the Mountain West's lone ranked team. The Cougars, who were without star guard Jimmer Fredette in El Paso (mononucleosis), are No. 18 in the AP poll and No. 17 in the coaches poll.

There finally was some shakeup atop both polls, as previous No. 1 Kansas suffered its first loss of the season Sunday at Tennessee.

With that result, Texas and Kentucky took over the top two spots, respectively, in both polls. They are the nation's only undefeated teams. Kansas slipped to third in both polls.

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  1. K, if everyone didn't know already that the basketball ranking system is flawed because of those who participate in them, today's evidence is all you need to know.

    We beat New Mexico thoroughly in their own place and they are still ranked ahead of us in both polls. Just shows you how little coaches and journalists actually pay attention to the Mountain West or (most likely) how incredibly stupid and incompetent they really are. MORONS!!

    Yeah, yeah....I know everyone says don't worry about the polls and that they don't matter. While that is somewhat true in regards to deciding who is better than who throughout the season, I mostly disagree. It matters to recruits, fans, box offices and most importantly.....seeding for the big dance.

  2. Couldn't agree with you more Fast. It's just really annoying that the same teams get recognition every year, and potential recruits will want to go to those "big name" schools.

    The win percentage is so small at the Pit too, I guess that didn't get to much recognition.

  3. Every year New Mexico has an inflated record because they play a weak preseason schedule.

  4. Didn't think we would be ranked after the split...hopefully if we handle business this week we can sneak back in.

  5. It's really tough right now for the MWC to get recognition due to the lack of ESPN coverage. Logic, the Lobos have beaten Cal, LaTech (by 30) Texas A&M(on the road) , TexasTech and Dayton. Of those victories only Dayton was close. I wouldn't call that schedule weak. Average to more difficult than average might be more accurate. BYU played a weak non-conference schedule. I don't agree that the Lobos did.

  6. A few more conference wins without a mis-step and we will be back in. Great job Coach Kruger.

    Go Rebels!

  7. the Texas A&M win for UNM was on a neutral court in Texas that was not near where the Aggies play. I'm sure more A&M fans were there, but it was counted as a neutral court win.

  8. NM is ranked 18th in the RPI...not weak at all. Just gotta keep the wins rolling. I guess it doesn't matter much if you beat someone by a point or 30 points, the "w" is all that matters.

  9. I agree with FastCamron and RebelAlum44. The MWC gets no respect, and it is absurd that New Mexico gets more votes than we do after they dropped 2 this week while we split one of the most difficult road trips in the country (1 of them of course being a double-digit win AT the Pit). While UNM getting more votes than us is absurd, I wasn't convinced that we would make it back into the rankings this week either. If we can make it to 15-3 this week with wins over SDSU and Utah, hopefully we can creep back in.

    I also think the polls DO matter. Of course Kruger and the players are going to say they don't, and I think that is a good attitude for them to have. But as FastCamron said, they do matter to fans, post-season seeding, ticket sales, recruiting, exposure (even if it is only seeing your team name on ESPN's bottom line), and to gaining a modicum of respect from other fans, coaches, and media across the country.

    As much as I despise BYU, I hope they keep winning (except for when they come to the Mack and perhaps one more road loss to either UNM or SDSU), and I hope UNM and gets back on track (along with SDSU, AFTER we beat them this week). The top of our league needs to remain strong and really create some distance from the bottom feeders if we want to attain/maintain our rankings, get teams into the big dance, and gain the respect of the rest of the nation. I really think our conference deserves 4 bids this year (assuming the top 4 don't beat each other up in conference play), though I won't be surprised if we only get 3 (or 2, given the lack of respect we're shown by the rest of the country).

  10. The Rebels only gets a 5 seed in the Bracket Watch??
    What's up with that?

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/wr...

  11. A 5 seed is a top 20 team and we are not that right now. Lunardi has us a 7 and rising and that is #25 or just on the outside and is where we are as of today!

  12. The MWC will get no respect as long as they play on networks called The Mountain and Versus. Even LOCALS don't get The Mountain on DirecTV, never mind the rest of the country.

  13. I would like to see the Rebels ranked as well, but if they take care of business that will take care of itself. Its not realistic to expect that just because UNLV beat UNM they should be ranked ahead of UNM. If that logic was used there couldn't be a poll because at some point as the season goes on many of the top teams will have played each other either in conference or out. The reality is that UNM is still 14-3 and beat better teams in non-conference than UNLV did. I say enough with the weekly update on if the Rebels are or aren't ranked. People who are actually following the team already know before the articles come out.

  14. @ kenns

    "What do you think would've have been our record if we had to play Villanova, Syracuse, Uconn, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincy, Notre Dame?"

    Are you saying UNLV can't compete against those schools?

    Playing better programs makes teams better. Plain and simple. It's anyone's game when the whistle blows. Look at Purdue's schedule for instance, it's not all that strong until conference play. Same thing with Baylor (not 1 ranked team until Big-12 conference play, but still ranked?)

  15. I could care less if we are ranked as long as we win the conference, conf. tourney and/or get an at large to the NCAA tourney.

  16. The MWC has earned their respect. It is in the Top 7 in the Country in both basketball and football.

    5, even 3 years ago, we could not have said that.

  17. I know during the Big Dance, I'll be rooting for all the MWC teams. We DO need to step up and beat these other teams. We need all the MWC teams to at least get past the first round to start garnering attention.

  18. yes, IMO if UNLV, NM, & BYU have their at-large bids locked up by tourney time..I'd take one for the team and lose to SDSU in the MWC final to get 4 teams in just to help out the conference..

    Actually, I am not sure about that decision. I won't be AS mad if the team on the bubble (pretending 3 other teams are locks) wins the MWC tourney and gets an auto bid.

  19. Outside of the Rebel's most recent Sweet 16 run (which I'd bet 1% of poll voters could recall if asked), the MWC has been an easy out in the NCAA Tourney for years. BYU is practically a guaranteed first round bye for someone every year.

    I know some will say that the league is underrated and underseeded and given tough first round games as a result, but until teams start winning on the hoop court, the league won't have a leg to stand on in court of public opinion.

    Until the MWC puts two teams in the Sweet 16 in the same year, the conference (with its poor TV deal not helping), will face an uphill battle when it comes to gaining national respect.