It's probably not a big surprise that No. 15 New Mexico is in first place near the midpoint of the Mountain West season.
The fact that Air Force is aiming for the top spot is simply stunning.
The Lobos have beaten the Falcons 12 straight times, including three dominant victories last season, as the teams head into Wednesday night's showdown in Albuquerque.
New Mexico (19-3, 6-1) has three returning starters from a squad that tied for the regular-season MWC crown and won the conference tournament title.
Air Force (14-6, 5-2) tied for last place in the league last season and was picked to finish at the bottom again in 2012-13.
Instead, the Falcons are in a second-place tie with Colorado State, one game behind New Mexico. Air Force is shooting a conference-best 48.4 percent behind top scorer Michael Lyons, second in the MWC with 18.1 points per game.
"They are coming to Albuquerque for first place," coach Steve Alford told New Mexico's official website. "They are loaded with seni...