22. Nevada (14-1)
While it hasn’t come against the strongest opposition, Nevada has quietly been a dominant team at times this season. They had some fantastic wins early in the year, including at Washington, won the Diamond Head Classic with wins over TCU and Georgia Tech, and their only loss came against a strong Drake team in early December. This week, the Wolf Pack did enough to attract our attention.
Their first game of the new year was on Saturday and was also the MWC opener. The Wolf Pack traveled to Fresno State and dealt a 72-57 blow to those Bulldogs, getting conference play off to a hot start. Kenan Blackshear continued a great season with 18 points and 7 rebounds while Jarod Lucas added 17 points in Nevada’s seventh consecutive win.
The record is very impressive for Nevada even if the strength of schedule doesn’t jump out. They’ve won a few very impressive games, played well on both sides of the ball, and got to conference play with a resume that can absolutely get them into March Madness. The weeks ahead will show us a lot about Nevada, especially as they begin to face the top-tier teams in this league. Next week won’t be that, as they’ll stay at home and see Air Force and Boise State.