17 things to know about New Mexico, the last undefeated men’s basketball team

Went “Down” Purdue Monday night time. Which implies the introductions are so as.

Say hey to the New Mexico Lobos, the one workforce now in perfection.

“We’ve a refusal to lose mentality,” mentioned younger guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. of the 14-0 Lobos. Till now, anyway. Listed here are 17 issues it is best to know concerning the final undefeated workforce within the land.

New Mexico

1. 55 years previous

We’re principally speaking about black and white TV the final time the Lobos began 14-0. That was 55 years previous. Additionally, it is solely January 2—not fairly the midway mark of the schedule—and New Mexico has already surpassed its win complete final season, when its final report was 13-19.

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2. Superb

The Lobos are at No. 21 in an Related Press ballot this week, their highest place in additional than eight years. They’ve been on a gradual rise, receiving not a single vote within the preseason AP ballot and being voted fifth within the preseason Mountain West rankings. “I believed we have been going to get higher, however perhaps we can’t be sitting right here like this,” mentioned coach Richard Pitino. Greatest begin in half a century? “Superb,” mentioned Pitino. One of many final two undefeated groups within the nation? “Superb,” mentioned Pitino. There appears to be a subject right here.

3. Surprising

The Lobos are a part of the unlikely panorama that’s school basketball as 2023 begins. Purdue has moved from No. 1 to No. 1. North Carolina began the season No. 1 and Kentucky No. 4, neither of that are ranked this week. Nor are Massive East favorites Creighton and Villanova, who’re 15-13. However the school of charleston.

4. Free throws

The 2023 portion of the season begins with the Lobos second try within the nation on free throws. and made.

5. Explosions

Their 84–63 win at SMU was the Mustangs’ worst non-conference defeat at house in 28 years.

6. Lower the strips

They trailed St. Mary’s 13-2 after eight minutes, however edged previous Giles to snap their 23-game house profitable streak, 69-65.

7. Again

They have been 12 factors behind San Francisco however recovered to win 67-64.

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8. Clutch

They ran away at Wyoming 76-75 final weekend, with two Mashburn free throws with 17.7 seconds left within the recreation. “They cannot all be fairly,” mentioned Pitino. “Typically it’s worthwhile to get on the highway and do extra of a job than them.”

9. Household fights

New Mexico gained the Pitino Bowl, because the Lobos defeated Iona 82-74. It was Richard Pitino teaching towards Rick, the twenty first father-son recreation in Division I historical past.

10. Dots within the paint

Lobos wish to work close to the basket. Solely 28.4 % of his area purpose makes an attempt are from behind the three-point arc and his 237 three-point photographs are 330th within the nation. They common 36.9 factors drawing the sport.

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11. Expertise

Between 9 returns and two transfers, the New Mexico mixed roster averaged 93.5 factors final season.

12. Conversion success

The Lobos are one among solely three groups within the nation to common three gamers over 15.5 factors a recreation – Mashburn and Gillen Home at 17.1, and Maurice Odesi at 15.7 factors. All three have moved to Albuquerque for the previous two seasons.

13. Like a father like a son

Mashburn adopted Pitino from Minnesota to New Mexico final season to proceed enjoying with him. It runs in households. Mashburn’s father Jamal performed with Rick Pitino at Kentucky. Jr. scored double figures in his 35-game profitable streak, tying for the third-longest streak within the nation.

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14. Household ties

Home is the newest star in a wealthy basketball heritage. His father, Eddie, is the main scorer at Arizona State, the place two generations began. His uncle Mike performed for the 1997 Arizona Nationwide Champion, who beat Kentucky’s Rick Pitino within the title recreation. His grandfather, Henry, was a guard for the UCLA championship workforce within the early Seventies. Seven extra factors and Gillen will be a part of his three relations with 1,000 profession factors.

15. Stability

Pitino, whose eight seasons at Minnesota included the NIT Championship and the 2017 Massive Ten Coach of the 12 months, fielded the identical fifth season in all 14 video games.

16. Postseason

Lobos hopes that good karma will carry over into March. New Mexico has not gained an NCAA match recreation in 10 years. The Lobos’ final Candy 16 look was in 1974.

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17. The Chasers

The following menace to New Mexico’s good report is Tuesday’s journey to Fresno State, the place the Lobos have not gained since 2016. New Mexico has turn into a high-value goal.

“We sort of went from hunters to chasers,” mentioned ahead Josiah Alec. “We cannot have something simple the remainder of the way in which.”

Certainly, Pitino is aware of what is required sooner or later.

“I imply, who’re we to be so smug?” He mentioned. “Our males have been humble, they have been hungry.”

And but, it’s unattainable to beat it. The one one left.

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