Which of tonight’s games includes two ranked teams battling for conference supremacy and a higher NCAA tournament seed?
A. Duke @ North Carolina
B. UConn @ Syracuse
C. New Mexico @ UNLV
The correct answer is C
. I guess that was pretty obvious since I am the New Mexico Lobos Examiner, but nevertheless impressive. #15 New Mexico
takes on #23 UNLV
with both teams coming off of big conference wins and looking to take control of first place in the Mountain West.
Here’s another question for you:
Which of these conferences has three teams in the top 25?
B. Big 12
C. Mountain West
E. Atlantic 10
F. A & D
G. B & C
Answer: G, B & C. The Big 12 has #1 Kansas, #9 Kansas State and #14 Texas, while the Mountain West has #15 New Mexico, #17 BYU and #23 UNLV. In fact, the ACC, Pac-10 and Atlantic 10 have only two ranked teams between the three of them, #8 Duke and #21 Temple. That said, answer this next question:
Which pair of conferences has more tournament bids, according to Joe Lunardi?
A. Mountain West & Big 12
B. ACC & Atlantic 10
Answer: B, ACC & Atlantic 10, with 12 projected bids to only 10 for answer A. The Mountain west alone has more ranked teams than the ACC and Atlantic 10. I rest my case.
Now back to tonight’s game. UNM is 4-0 against ranked opponents this year, but 0-1 against UNLV. The Rebels looked awfully good against BYU
last week while the Lobos struggled with San Diego State. UNLV has shown weaknesses at home however, losing on Jan. 16 against Utah. Answer this question about tonight’s game:
Which team averages 11.5 turnovers per contest?
A. New Mexico
Answer: Trick question, both teams take good care of the ball and average only 11.5 turnovers per contest. New Mexico averages more points and rebounds per game while UNLV averages more assists. Though the Rebels have been billed the hot-shooting team, New Mexico shoots better from beyond the arc.
ESPN’s Andy Katz wrote a blurb about UNLV’s Tre’Von Willis suddenly being in contention with Jimmer Fredette for Mountain West Player of the Year considerations, but Katz never made any mention of Darington Hobson. Here is a blind look at the stats, decide for yourself who is the leading candidate:
Player A: 18 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.4 turnovers, 1.1 steals,
.496 FG%, .852 FT%, .295 3PT%
Player B: 15.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3 turnovers, 1.3 steals,
.422 FG%, .638 FT%, .384 3PT%
Player C: 21.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.7 turnovers, 1.5 steals,
.465 FG%, .897 FG%, .481 3PT%
With all of these teams being in contention for the title, any one of these players has a shot at player of the year, oh, except for Player A who was Tre’Von Willis. It should be pretty obvious that Player B is Darington Hobson and Player C is Jimmer Fredette. With these teams still battling a lot can change in this race.