Tag:Runnin' Rebels
Posted on: February 8, 2013 8:37 pm
 

New Mexico vs UNLV- Big opportunity for Lobos

This is another opportunity.  This season, the Lobos have been pretty good taking advatage of opportunities.  They beat UConn in the Virgin Islands.  They went to Cincinnati and beat the Bearcats.  That was good.  They beat UNLV in the MWC opener at the Pit.  Good.  While they've had three setbacks, they've been lucky and they've earned their wins.  Lucky has to be the word when the winning margin is so slim.  There's also some skill involved.  Clearly.  The Lobos truly are balanced and have all the components.

Now the potential.  While their two terrible halfs (@ St. Louis and @ San Diego State) have colored their resume darkly, New Mexico is on the verge of a steep climb up the polls as it seems the elite teams are losing at a more rapid rate than normal.  The top 10 are unstable.  That's putting it mildly.  If New Mexico were to go to Las Vegas and beat the Runnin' Rebels, I think there are arguments for a Top 10 ranking.  No doubt.  When compared with teams like Ohio State, Kansas State, and several others, the Lobos' resume is stronger.  There is even argument that the Lobos can be considered as a Top 5 teams...but they have to keep winning.  The coaches and the writers are still doubtful that the Lobos are as good as their top 5 RPI and SoS.  Anyone who follows basketball knows that the Lobos have their work cut out for them at UNLV.  UNLV is in a similar situation as was San Diego State, when their backs were against the wall and we know what happened at Viejas Arena.  This time New Mexico knows they have to play well against one of the most talented teams in the country.  If they come out with a win, the entire tables of the Mountain West Conference will turn in favor of the Lobos.    

New Mexico is poised to skyrocket up the polls and has the potential to be ranked near the top of college basketball. 
Posted on: January 10, 2013 7:43 am
 

Lobos over Runnin' Rebels

The very talented UNLV Runnin' Rebels don't like the Pit.  The place has had that effect on them for generations.  Last year, UNLV visited the Pit and was blown out by 20.  This year it was close.  The Lobos missing enough freethrows down the stretch to give UNLV the chance to tie or win more than once, but it was not to be.  The 6th man was too much...and so was 7-footer Alex Kirk from Los Alamos.  Although not highly recruited, Kirk took some of the best frontcourt players in the nation to school.  He dominated inside and outside from the opening.  UNLV's phenom freshman, Anthony Bennett collected 3 fouls in the 1st half which slowed his aggressiveness down and the human flea, Khem Birch, could not ever get the best of the Lobos big man.  When they stayed inside and established a solid guard low, Kirk popped out beyond the 3-point line and drilled it.  Inside, some fancy footwork by Kirk led to a one-sided affair against some of the nation's best.

Kirk ended the game with a career high 23 points and 9 boards.  Veteran guard Anthony Marshall led UNLV in both rebounds (9) and assists (7).  That's not good when you have such size and atleticism in one frontcourt.  Lots of credit also needs to go to and undersized and inujured Albuquerque native, Chad Adams, who had the unenviable task of guarding Bennett for much of the night- and keeping him in check.  More than that, he kept the Lobos in it at the opening of the game by scoring 6 points early.  He ended up outrebounding the apparent freshman of the year Bennett 10- 6.

Lobos beat UNLV (who I pick to go deep in the Big Dance) at the Pit.  65-60.

GO LOBOS!!! 
Posted on: December 25, 2012 8:18 am
 

Mountain West Christmas week opportunity

So, do you have game or not?  That is the question.  If the Mountain West is any good, then it has the opportunity to prove it on the court this week.  Put up or shut up, right?

Everyone knows that unless you're in the Big 10, the Big East, or the ACC, that you absolutely must play (well) outside your conference to gain any respect.  That is true for the teams out west and doubly true for the teams in the Mountain West conference.  Few fans or those in the college basketball profession know much about any teams in the MWC, and they'd be happy to never learn, but this week provides an unmistakable opportunity for the MWC.

This week presents an undeniable stage for the Mountain West conference to make some kind of a statement, as there are four big games that will feature teams from the MWC.  The trouble is that for many, these games will solidify any generalizations already made.  The decks are most certainly stacked against the MWC in all of these games.  The fact is that all four of these featured games involve a MWC team going into a hostile, and in many cases, storied venue where the home team has a significant advantage.  Such is the face of opportunity.  

This year, the Mountain West conference is one of the nation's top conferences with 7 of 9 teams with only 2 or fewer losses to date.  Most rank the conference in the top 4 this season- some as high as #2- in the country.  There are four teams in the MWC who are either ranked or who are knocking at the door.  (NOTE:  In case you want some proof the MWC is under-respected, when New Mexico lost its first game, it dropped 10 spots this week)  The missing piece is that few fans back East, or those in the national media, get the opportunity to watch these western teams play.  For better or for worse, this week, that will change.


New Mexico @ Cincinnati- The Lobos are coming off their first loss at the Pit to Nate Wolters and South Dakota St.  They will be visiting the Big East's leading team, the Cincinnati Bearcats, who have won all 12 of their games this year- most in dramatic style.

Air Force @ Florida-  8-2 Air Force will travel to meet a very talented Florida team coming off a loss @ Kansas State.   Although Florida has lost two games, many pick them to be a national contender in March.  The Falcons will bring one of the nation's top guards, Michael Lyons to town.

SDSU @ Arizona- Anyone who knows the McKale center in Tucson knows the challenge of winning at Arizona.  This year, undefeated and 4th ranked, Arizona looks like they're back.  SDSU's Jamaal Franklin is one of those rare players who can carry his team to victory, but their work is cut out for them against a loaded Arizona team.

UNLV @ North Carolina-  Last season, it looked as though North Carolina's season was over early when it was beaten in Las Vegas.  This is a revenge game in one of America's toughest places to play at Chapel Hill.  Given UNLV's performance to date, this could be more of a test for North Carolina, who will face perhaps the best frontcourt in the nation when they play the Runnin' Rebels, even withough Mike Moser.  Although many have said that this Tarheel team isn't good, who wants to face them at their home or who wants to draw their name in March?  Yeah, I thought so.
 
 
 
 
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