The New Mexico Lobos have somehow become a favorite here at the Rant Sports office. Through their MWC awesomeness and a bit of magic, the Lobos are slowly becoming one of our sleeper teams for the NCAA Tournament. Some have talked about the quality play of Kendall Williams while others have resorted to nicknaming them “Beast Mode”. Regardless, New Mexico now holds a special place in our hearts for their over-achievements this season.
Then there is the Wyoming Cowboys, another team that at one point this year overachieved. Wyoming started off the season red-hot and even earned a top 25 national ranking during the year. However, one bar fight and a crowd misbehaving later, the Cowboys are not even on the NCAA Tournament bubble and need to win the conference tourney to earn a birth in the big dance.
The two teams meet later today in the first round of the MWC Tournament. Wyoming had to play their way into this game, beating the Nevada Wolfpack in the (for lack of better description) pre-first round game. But this likely all for not, as Wyoming has been trending downward since January while New Mexico has been steady and successful all season long.
Wyoming will be playing with a sense of urgency that is needed to get into the NCAA Tournament, but that probably won’t be enough to beat a Lobos squad playing for seeding.
If these teams were meeting in December we would all have been anticipating the match-up of two mid-major powers. Unfortunately, it now feels like a case of a down and out Wyoming team just waiting to be slaughtered by a very good New Mexico squad.
They meet tonight at 9:30. The slaughter will be televised on CBS Sports.