New Mexico Lobos Basketball Tickets
Heading in to 2014, there is a lot of optimism surrounding
the New Mexico Lobos. Though they lost their head coach Steve Alford to the Pac 12's UCLA Bruins, the team that finished last
year 29-6 is confident that they are only getting better. To prove that they are just beginning to make a move into the list
of best programs in the country, the Lobos have an incredibly impressive non conference schedule that should come back to
help them come post season seeding. The first non conference matchup to watch is when the Cincinnati Bearcats come to The
Pit on December 7, a matchup of two strong programs with postseason aspirations.
The non conference schedule gets even
tougher the following week from the Kansas Jayhawks visit. The Jayhawks enter the year as the 6th ranked team in the county
and the December 14 visit to The Pit would be an incredible win for the Lobos if they can beat KU. The Jayhawks have dominated
the Big 12 for the last decade, but the 2014 team is one of Bill Self's youngest in years. Lobos fans will definitely want
to check out freshman guard Andrew Wiggins, the much hyped Kansas recruit who many think will make the jump to the NBA after
his freshman year.
When the Mountain West Conference tips off, the top two teams in the conference square off at The
Pit when the Colorado State Rams come to town on January 4. Colorado State finished just two games back of the Lobos last
year, and both teams know that the outcome of this game could set the tone for the rest of the season.
Lobos fans always
get up for the San Diego Aztecs visit to Albuquerque, where two of the conference's most successful teams over the last few
years square off for this last season game. This rivalry always delivers excitement, so get out to The Pit on February 22
to see these two hot teams settle it all out on the court.
The conference that sits "above
the rest" based on their collective elevations, the Mountain West Conference may not be in the national spotlight the way
that the Big East or ACC is, but come tournament time, any of the 11 teams that make up the Mountain West Conference can be
in the thick of things. Most recently, teams like the New Mexico Lobos, San Diego State Aztecs and University of Las Vegas
Runnin' Rebels have been representing the Mountain West Conference in the NCAA Tournament.
Heading into its fifteenth
season, the Mountain West Conference is getting stronger every year, on the strength of their basketball programs and the
addition of BCS darlings like Boise State in their football programs. The New Mexico Lobos have been picked to lead the Mountain
West Conference again this year, but the other schools in the conference are looking to give the Lobos a run for their money.
The Rio Grande Rivalry between the University of New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies is
one of the longest running and fiercest in the country. Though they play in different conferences, with New Mexico State playing
in the Western Athletic Conference, these two teams face each other twice a year in the preseason. This is a rare occurrence
in the game today, but the fans of both teams are vocal about keeping that Battle of I-25 just the way it is. Their first
meeting occurred in 1894, with the New Mexico Lobos owning the all time series 115-95 and a current 3 game winning streak.
The rivalry certainly extends beyond basketball, with points being tallied for all sports, men's and women's, with a rivalry
winner declared at the end of the year.
Through the years the New Mexico Lobos have
had a good amount of success getting the to the NCAA Tournament, but not as much winning once they are there. Like many schools
before them, there seems to be a curse of having a high seed. In their 14 total tournament appearances, the Lobos have just
a 9-15 record and have never advanced past the second round. There is always time to turn things around the Lobos are confident
that their tournament experience over the last few years will help this young group advance should they find themselves there
again this year.
There is an impressive list of Lobos players, past and present, that have
gone on to have success in the NBA. Maybe the greatest of them all, former Los Angeles Laker Michael Cooper. After transferring
from a junior college to New Mexico, Cooper led the Lobos to the Western Athletic Conference title in 1978. He was drafted
in the second round by the Lakers and ended up playing his entire 12 year career with the same team, including winning 5 NBA
championships. He has gone on to also succeed as a coach, leading the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA to 2 championships themselves.
most notable Lobo currently playing in the NBA is All Star Danny Granger, the small forward for the Indiana Pacers. Granger
transferred to New Mexico during the 2004 season, leading the Lobos to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Mountain West
Tournament MVP award. In the NBA, Granger was named the NBA Most Improved Player in 2009, a breakout season where he scored
25.9 points per game.
Which Lobos player has played in the most NCAA Tournament games in
his college career?
Lobo legend Kenny Thomas played in 8 career tournament games from 1995-1999. Thomas is the second
all time leading Lobo scorer with 1,931 points before being drafted 22nd in the 1999 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets.