21. Nevada (19-5)
The Wolf Pack reached the NCAA Tournament last season, their first trip under Steve Alford. The program seems to be heading in the right direction yet again, and their play this season is certainly evident of that. A 15-1 start included a few really nice wins out of conference, though a tough stretch back in January took Nevada off the national radar. They certainly are back on it after this past week.
First, the Wolf Pack got a huge road win in league play, winning 77-63 in a dominant performance at Utah State. Nick Davison had 25 points and 10 rebounds in spearheading the upset while Kenan Blackshear added 18 points. That was not all for Nevada, who got their second ranked win of the week on Friday with a 70-66 overtime classic over San Diego State. The Wolf Pack avenged an earlier loss and were led by Blackshear’s 22-point performance.
Their record is in good shape, they’re right there in the conference race, and Nevada is also putting themselves on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. Their performance back in January was certainly rocky and uneven, including a tough loss to Wyoming, but they’ve started February with quite the bang. A home game with New Mexico looms on Tuesday and could set up a third-straight ranked win and a chance to make their position even more comfortable.