TV Schedule: Saturday, Dec. 12, 8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Stadium: The Pit
If you are a fan who loves mid-major showdowns, here’s a great one for you: Northern Iowa vs. New Mexico. The winner will certainly boost that resume, and some bragging rights will come along with that.
The Lobos enter this clash with a 5-2 record. Those two losses came against the USC Trojans and Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue is looking like a top team in college hoops, so take that loss as you will. Considering New Mexico lost those two games, which would have done wonders to the resume if it would have won either contest, this squad could use a signature win right about now.
As for the Panthers, they have arguably the best win in college basketball on their resume. Said win came against the North Carolina Tar Heels when they were ranked No. 1 in the country. However, this team does have two blemishes (losses against Colorado State and Richmond), which brings its record to 6-2.
Although Seth Tuttle is long gone, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: If the Panthers can beat North Carolina (with or without Marcus Paige), they can beat any team in the country.
Northern Iowa has four players who are averaging double figures in the scoring department, while the Lobos only have three … but those three are averaging 16 or more points per game. Translation: The Lobos have some serious scoring threats this season — and I am predicting said scoring threats to lead New Mexico to victory.
PREDICTION: Panthers 74, Lobos 84