2021 Mountain West Tournament: Fresno State vs. New Mexico Preview, TV Schedule, Livestream, and More
Lobos were competitive in their regular season outings against the Bulldogs.
New Mexico was competitive last time, but Fresno State has been playing better as of late.
WHO: #6 Fresno State Bulldogs vs. #11 New Mexico Lobos
WHEN: Wednesday, March 10 4:00 PM PT | 5:00 PM MT
WHERE: Las Vegas, NV – Thomas and Mack Center
Line: Fresno State -8.5
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads 17-15
It’s round one of the Mountain West Tournament and the matchup between the sixth-seeded Fresno State and eleventh-seeded New Mexico is one where the Lobos program and it’s outgoing head coach Paul Weir will all but discounted to go beyond round one in the single elimination tournament.
With Fresno State playing better basketball lately, and New Mexico expected to be, once more, short of scholarship players the 8.5 point spread could be a little too generous for the Lobos.
In their last meetings, Orlando Robinson (14.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game) struggled to get going for the Bulldogs, but expect him to have much more presence in this one as New Mexico is expected to be thin in the post once more.
And if Junior Ballard (6.8 points, 2.6 rebounds per game) and Deon Stroud (11.8 points, 3.7 rebounds per game) can eat up the Lobos defense like they did in the last meeting alongside Robinson’s expected increase in post presence, the Bulldogs are all but guaranteed a victory this time around.
While New Mexico has improved drastically defensively (from entirely lackluster to decent), their offensive production has not followed suit, and this is a team that has to make shots to be make this a competitive game. Key to that push will likely need to be Makuach Maluach (15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists per game) and Valdir Manuel (7.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks per game) using that sweet, seemingly “unblockable” hook shot that has been finding the net with increasing regularity lately.