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Sports Desk: Lobo men’s basketball is glad to continue playing

By Van Tate,

2023-03-14

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When they were the nation’s last undefeated team, the NCAA Tournament looked like a strong possibility for the University of New Mexico Lobo men’s basketball team. A bad February changed that, but has not dampened their spirits.

The Lobos got a NIT bid Sunday and they are excited to have an opportunity to continue playing. It’s the first postseason bid for the program since 2014. “The NIT, especially with the new format, now means, more than ever, that you’re close,” said UNM head coach Richard Pitino. “We’re a lot closer than I thought we would be when I first took over.” Pitino is only two years into the job and has been able to end the school’s postseason drought ahead of schedule. The Lobos are a number two seed in the NIT and will host Utah Valley Wednesday. “We got to treat it differently,” said UNM guard Jamal Mashburn Jr.. “I mean, this is a different focus. It’s kind of like a new start. We’re trying to go on another run, win like four straight games, five games, whatever it is. And, we got to be locked in for that and we are. So, we’re ready to go.” The Lobos will take a 21-11 record into it’s game against the Utah Valley Wolverines. The Wolverines are 25-8. Game time Wednesday is 8 pm.

In other sports news, Lobo women’s basketball found out Monday who they will meet in the WNIT. The Lobos will host Northern Arizona Thursday at 7 pm.

Former Lobo All American kicker John Sullivan has been named Mountain West Associate Commissioner of Football. Sullivan is returning to the Mountain West after working a year in the Southland Conference. Prior to that he worked at the Mountain West from 2010 to 2022.

NMSU head football coach Jerry Kill will lead his team through spring practice starting March 21. The Aggies spring game is April 20.

Los Lunas got a complete 5 hit shutout from pitcher Ryan Castillo and a two run home run from Kaden Chavez in a 5-0 victory over the Valley Vikings Monday. It’s was the first game for both teams in the Metro Baseball Tournament.

Miguel Coca became a national champion over the weekend. The Adams State standout picked up gold in the mile run at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championship. Coca is a former West Las Vegas track star. He’s a five time state champion in track and field and also a one time champion in cross country.

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