Updated: Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013, 8:47 AM MST
Published : Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013, 8:41 AM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - First it was just a whisper, now the talk of making the Lobos a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament is really picking up steam.
Lobo Coach Steve Alford doesn't have a hard time believing it, but some lobo fans do.
”I think we're top 10 material…I don't know if we're top four, I think we could be a fantastic two seed,” UNM student Damon Hudson said.
”I think it's a little farfetched. We don't get enough love from the east coast, so I don't think it's close to happening,” UNM student Arthur Dahl said.
The new Associated Press poll out today has the Lobos up at the 12th spot.
But what is really igniting the internet talk about UNM landing a one seed in the NCAA’s is their second-ranked RPI, a measure of strength of schedule, Toad wins and performance against top teams.
Generally speaking, a team with a top two RPI gets a one of the four number one seeds in the tourney.
”Right now, at this point, I’d put our resume up against anybody's,” Alford said.
Coach Alford tried to play it off like it's no big deal Monday but after five minutes of talking about it, it became apparent that it is a big deal.
”That's the nice thing that we're even discussing the possibility of the number one or number two seed. That tells us where the program is. That tells us you're an elite,” Alford said.
The highest seed UNM has ever had was number three, three years ago in a tournament that saw the Washington Huskies beat the 8th-ranked Lobos in the second round.
The coach knows with games on the road against Nevada and Air Force leading up to the Mountain West Tournament next week. A stumble could cost the Lobos a one or two seed.
Coach Alford also knows if they win out, they have a shot at seeing a number one next to their name on the NCAA brackets.
”Now if that doesn't come to be, we're not going to lose a whole lot of sleep if we're not a number one seed,” Alford said.
But try telling that to his players.
”To be a one seed would be something really special. I doubt any New Mexico team has done that,” lobo player Alex Kirk said.
The tournament selection committee picks the field and the seeds on March 17th.
The nine-team Mountain West could end up with five teams in the tourney this year.