Colorado vs. New Mexico: Preview, Livestream and More
Lobos Get an Early Test from the Buffs
Contact/Follow & @MWCwire
While the Buffs are a solid favorite, each team had a close first contest
Boulder, CO – The New Mexico Lobos are set to take on the PAC-12’s Colorado Buffaloes – a team that finished last season third in the PAC-12 – on Saturday November 13 at 4:30 PM MST.
While the Buffaloes are expected to take a step back from last year’s squad, Tad Boyle has done a fantastic job at the helm of the program. Entering his 12th year as the Buffaloes head coach, Boyle has taken Colorado to the NCAA tournament five times in that span, ending what was previously an eight-year drought from college basketball’s foremost tournament. His Buffaloes are 1-0 this season after enduring a close-call against a pesky Montana State team, ultimately winning that game 94-90 in overtime at the CU Events Center opener.
Meanwhile, New Mexico head coach Richard Pitino enters his first year as the head coach for the Lobos, after transitioning from the Big Ten and going 141-123 with his Minnesota Golden Gophers. After getting his first win with his new program – a 99-92 victory over Florida Atlantic on Wednesday – Pitino has a chance to continue winning over the basketball-centric Albuquerque community.
WHO: Colorado Buffaloes (1-0, 0-0 PAC-12) vs. New Mexico Lobos (1-0, 0-0 MWC)
WHEN: Saturday, November 13th – 4:30 PM MST / 6:30 PM EST
WHERE: CU Events Center, Boulder, CO
TV/Stream: PAC-12 Network
SERIES RECORD: Tied, 7-7
LAST MATCHUP: December 11, 2018 – Colorado won 78-75 in Albuquerque
ODDS: Colorado -14.5
OVER UNDER: 110
Starting as 19 point underdogs, New Mexico gained a small margin of respectability from the oddsmakers, which show Colorado as a 14.5 point favorite on Saturday.
Even after losing three of their top five scorers from last year, the Buffaloes (like New Mexico) have a talented group of young players. And it’s this relative inexperience between both squads and similarities in size that could make this a closer game than the oddsmakers project.
If it’s to happen though, New Mexico will need another night of spread out production to keep the Buffs on their toes. In game one for the Lobos, it was a lot of Jaelen House, who scored 30 points and netted 6 assists on 52.6% field goal shooting and 60% thre-point shooting.
But against FAU, the rest of the team came to play offensively and five players scored in double digits, which did not happen during the course of the 2020-2021 season for New Mexico.
Fellow newcomer Gethro Muscadin (18 points, 2 block, 75% field goal percentage), Jay Allen Tovar (18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks), Jamal Mashburn Jr. (14 points, 3 assists), and KJ Jenkins (10 points, 66.7% three-point shooting) all contributed offensively to open things up for House in a game where five newcomers to the program started.
But the Buffs brought some of their own offensive diversity to their first contest, also with five returning players putting up double figures in Keeshawn Barthelemy (19 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 54.5% field goal percentage, 100% three-point shooting), Eli Parquet (17 points), Evan Battey (16 points, 5 rebounds, 100% field goal percentage), Jabari Walker (14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 50% three-point percentage) and Nique Clifford (11 points, 9 rebounds).
With the lack of size differential between these two teams, rebounding is going to be a key differentiator in the guard heavy lineups. And after grabbing only 25 boards in their first matchup (310th in the country), I have to take the Buffs on this one in a game where the Lobos keep it just under the spread.
Final Score: Colorado 92, New Mexico 81