Air Force vs. New Mexico: Preview, TV Schedule, Live Stream, Radio, Odds
The Falcons host the Lobos in Clune Arena
Air Force takes on New Mexico in Mountain West play
WEEK 10: Air Force Falcons (5-7, 0-0 Mountain West) vs. New Mexico Lobos (6-6, 0-0 Mountain West)
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan 2 — 7:00 PM MT/6:00 PM PT
WHERE: Clune Arena; Colorado Springs, Colorado (5,858)
TV: AT&T SportsNet
STREAM: TheMW.com (subject to blackout restrictions)
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads 59-23
ODDS: New Mexico -1
Mountain West Conference play opens up on Wednesday, and among the five match-ups slated for the day is one between the New Mexico Lobos (6-6) and Air Force Falcons (5-7).
Both the Falcons and the Lobos are coming off victories, neither of which were against formidable opponents. While Air Force beat a team ranked 295 in the latest NET rankings in UC Riverside, New Mexico traveled from Albuquerque to Hobbs, NM to battle 3-8 NAIA opponent University of the Southwest.
While a game against UC Riverside isn’t top notch competition, it’s an understandable level of competition for a struggling Falcons team. The Lobos, however, received some criticism regarding playing an NAIA team in a regular season game – especially this late in the season.
Though the criticism may be warranted on the surface, Lobos head coach Paul Weir says he got exactly what he and his staff wanted out of the game.
“In theory there was a lot of things we wanted to get out of this and I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t that we wanted to,” he said.
“I think basketball-wise we kind of got a little lucky. We didn’t (obviously) schedule this game with [implementing schematic changes] in mind but you know I think everyone can see we’re making some schematic changes to what we’re doing. . .This kind of became a really good game for us to continue to go out and practice things that are new to us.”
The changes the second year coach of New Mexico referred to were a decreased emphasis on pressure defense, an increase in zone defense and a greater emphasis on post scoring as opposed to the relying too heavily on the three-point-shot.
Air Force will be glad to enter league play on its home court where it enjoyed a 4-2 advantage over non-conference opponents. Of course Air Force, while never a perennial basketball powerhouse, often causes headaches for undisciplined teams that head to Colorado Springs.
The Falcons hope to march toward the .500 mark by repeating the success that they had a year ago on their home court where they beat the Lobos by a score of 100-92.
Prediction: Having lost three of their last four games at Clune Arena, the Lobos will have their hands full once more against a struggling Air Force team. The aforementioned schematic changes for the Lobos will look ugly early, and Air Force will be out to an early lead with spot on three-point shooting against the zone, but settling into a rhythm and feeding the post will allow the Lobos to escape with a narrow lead.
New Mexico 72, Air Force 69