Hours after landing to a
greeting from a crowd of Lobo fans over 200-strong at the
the UNM men’s team gathered at Embassy Suites near downtown to
find out where
they would be sent and what their seed and opponent would be for
the 2012 NCAA
Men’s Basketball Tournament.
be the site and 12-seeded Long Beach State (25-8) for No. 21/22
(27-6), which won the Mountain West Conference Tournament title
afternoon with a 68-59 win over top-seeded San Diego St.
freshman guard Hugh Greenwood. “We’ve got Long Beach State and
they played a
really strong non-conference schedule, they’ve played some
really tough teams.
It’s going to be a tough match up for us. “
The 49ers start
seniors, including guard Casper Ware, who single-handedly led
LBSU to the Big
West Conference tournament title Saturday night, scoring 33
points and hitting
8 three-pointers. The 49ers lost just one game in conference
play but could be
without senior leader Larry Anderson, who sat out of the title
The Lobos enter
season having won five in a row and 12-of-14 games in MWC play.
observers predicted the five-seed, senior guard Phillip McDonald
said he hoped
for a higher seed.
feel that we
deserved a four seed, but a five seed will work,” said McDonald.
“I thought it
would be a four-seed after winning the tournament. The teams in
West are pretty tough to play against but I think it’ll work out
He said the
likely use the slight as motivation against the 49ers.
“We’re built of
disrespected all the time,” said McDonalds. “Our team loves
being the underdog.
Coach loves it and I think we play better when we’re underdogs.”
Steve Alford has
preached a “one-game-at-a-time” approach all season, which his
bought into. But addressing a potential match-up against
on Saturday in Portland and a potential game against top-seeded Michigan St. the next week, Greenwood said it “would be a lot of
the teams you
always see on national TV, so you know, they’re the ones with
the big games,”
Greenwood said. “ So you always look forward to playing them.”
Senior Drew Gordon, who
responded to a snub for the regular season Player-of-the-year
award with an impressive
three-game stretch that earned him the MWC tournament Most
award, said the relative strength of the MWC this season will
help the team in
teams this late in the season helps,” said Gordon. “Beating UNLV
and San Diego State was big and in order to beat those teams we had to be at
our best. We
kind of on a roll now but it’s another season. We’re 0-0 right
now and we have
to try and win as many games as we can to make the championship.
for it. I think we’re playing good basketball but we can get
better, which is a