The New Mexico Lobos and the Utah Valley Wolverines meet in college basketball action from the Pit on Wednesday night.
New Mexico Lobos Team Preview
The New Mexico Lobos come into the tournament after finishing the year at 22-11 overall including an 8-10 mark in conference play. New Mexico beat Wyoming in the first round before being eliminated by Utah State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West tournament. Jamal Mashburn Jr. leads the Lobos in sscoring with 19.5 PPG while Jaelen House has 17 PPG with a team-high 4.6 APG and Morris Udeze has 16.4 PPG with a team-high 9.3 RPG to lead the Lobos on the glass and cap off the trio of double-digit scorers for New Mexico up to this point in the year. As a team, New Mexico is averaging 81.2 PPG on 48.4% shooting from the field, 35.6% from three and 74.4% from the foul line this season.
Utah Valley Wolverins Team Preview
The Utah Valley Wolverines come in off of a 25-8 season in which the Wolverines finished with a conference best 15-3 record in WAC play, earning the WAC regular season title. Utah Valley took out Tarleton in the quarterfinals before falling short against Southern Utah in the semifinals. Le’Tre Darthard has a team-high 14.2 PPG while Trey Woodbury’s averaging 13.4 PPG and a team-high 4.5 APG. Justin Harmon has 13.2 PPG and Aziz Bandaogo has 11.5 PPG with a team-high 10.2 RPG to lead the Wolverines on the glass by averaging a double-double per game and rounding out the group of double-digit scorers for the Wolverines up to this point. As a team, New Mexico is averaging 76.9 PPG on 46.3% shooting from the field, 32.9% from three and 74% from the foul line this season.
Utah Valley is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games and 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games overall while the under is 3-0-1 in their last 4 games following an ATS loss. New Mexico is 3-7-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall and 1-4-2 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record while the over is 11-4 in their last 15 home games.
I am leaning towards Utah Valley here. New Mexico is a tough place to go on the road and win at the Pit, but this is a Utah Valley team that’s one of the better mid-major teams in the country and if they were at the NCAA tournament, this is a team that’s good for a 5-12 or 4-13 upset. New Mexico is a solid group that does play their best ball at home, but I think this is too many points to give a Utah Valley team that could end up winning outright.