March 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The casual sports fan’s guide to UNM vs. Louisville

Impress your friends tonight with these Lobo stats and facts

By Todd Eric Lovato

Fox in a Forest

Todd Eric Lovato is a Santa Fe native, the editor of SantaFe.com and an overfed, long-haired leaping gnome.

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If you’re like many casual sports fans, the UNM Lobos men’s basketball team’s journey into the third round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is exciting but still somewhat daunting, with 32 teams still competing in four locales throughout the country for a chance to compete for a national championship.

Each March, millions of people fill out brackets to try and predict the outcome of the Big Dance – 5.9 million filled out ESPN brackets this year alone. There are no documented reports of anyone ever filling out a perfect bracket and the odds of filling out a perfect bracket are said to be 1 in 18,446,744,073,709,551,616.

But while filling out a halfway decent NCAA bracket may be one of the most difficult exercises in the history of spectator sports, knowing a little something about tonight’s matchup between the Lobos and the Louisville Cardinals is a snap. The Lobos have released a “stat/flash notes” cheat sheet just prior to tonight’s game.  Below are some highlights. Read them. Commit to memory and impress even your most cherry and silver-clad friends tonight during the game by casually dropping bon mots like “Did you know the Lobos are 24 - 1 this season when shooting 40 percent or better from the field?” or “Gordon’s 31 double‐doubles is the fourth‐most in Mountain West history.  And Gordon has only been playing for New Mexico for a season and a half.”

  • New Mexico has never been to the Sweet 16 in the modern format of the NCAA Tournament, losing round-of-32 games in
    1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2010.
  • The Lobos are 0‐2 all time vs. Louisville, but Steve Alford is 2‐0 all time vs. Louisville, both wins coming while he was at Iowa.
  • The Lobos are 12‐2 on Saturdays this season, and 17‐2 on the weekend overall.
  • The Lobos are now 6‐0 when wearing their silver uniforms this season after the win over Long Beach State.  As the lower ranked team, UNM will wear cherry on Saturday against the Cardinals.
  • The Lobos are 0‐2 all‐time against Louisville, including the last matchup, which was a round of 32 game on March 16, 1997 in Pittsburgh, a game won by Louisville 64‐63 when a last‐ditch UNM shot missed at the buzzer.  New Mexico was a 3‐seed in that tournament.
  • Louisville assistant coach Wyking Jones was Steve Alford’s assistant coach on the Lobo bench for the last two seasons.
  • The Lobos are 27‐1 when their opponents score less than 70 points, but just 1‐5 when they score 70 or more.

Mariann Lovato contributed to this report.

 

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