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Alford leaves for UCLA

March 30th, 2013 at 2:32 pm by under Sports

Steve Alford is trading in his University of New Mexico Lobo red blazer for Bruin blue and UCLA.

The six-year Lobo coach said it was a hard decision.

Days ago Alford agreed to a new 10-year extension with New Mexico. He said, at the time of his agreement, he planned on staying at UNM for a long time.

UCLA came calling a few days ago. Alford said he had to go to the place he calls, “the pinnacle of basketball.”

He might not be alone.

Seven-foot center Alex Kirk made it sound as if he was game for a transfer to join coach Alford if Lobos now-interim coach Craig Neal does not get the job on a permanent basis.

There is always a possibility that some players will ask for a release to transfer when a coach changes jobs. It is probably too early to tell how that will go.

Alford will take his basketball playing sons Kory and Bryce with him. Bryce Alford just enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons turned in by a New Mexico high school player, averaging 38 points per game.

UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs said he was disappointed but understood the business.

Alford leaves the Lobos program in better shape than he found it. During his six seasons, Alford made the Lobos road tough and league champion regulars. The Lobos won four Mountain West titles and also a pair of conference tournament titles.  He also enjoyed the support of a fan base that would follow him anywhere.

He leaves for a storied program at UCLA. While the Lobo faithful always talked about just getting to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, UCLA will expect a national title. That is the challenge that awaits Alford.

There is also a seven-year $18.2 million deal that will pay him $2.6 million a year. Throw in a $200,000 signing bonus and the lure of the house that John Wooden built and you have all of the factors that made Steve Alford go from being a Lobo to a Bruin.

He will be officially introduced as UCLA’s head basketball coach at a press conference Tuesday.

More from KRQE.comLobo Coach Alford jumps to UCLA


Is it deep run time for the Lobos

March 18th, 2013 at 3:47 pm by under Sports

It seems like New Mexico basketball fans can smell it. The aroma of a sweet 16 appearance or better by their Lobos appear to be in the air.

The Lobos will head into the NCAA Tournament as a 3 seed facing a 14 seed in the Harvard Crimson. Like the Lobos, Harvard won it’s regular season league title. Unlike the Lobos the Crimson is not undefeated against ranked opponents.

The Lobos have been tough away from The Pit with a 14 and 4 record. They are 9 and 4 on the road and 5 and 0 at neutral sites. You could also argue that this season the Lobos are built for a deep run into the tournament.

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Photos: Lobos Return

March 17th, 2013 at 1:51 pm by under Photos

From photojournalist Lex Stanfield: The Lobo men’s basketball team returns to New Mexico as Mountain West Conference Champions.

lobos1 lobos2


Van’s Tweets: UNM-UNLV title game

March 16th, 2013 at 4:13 pm by under Sports

KRQE Sports Director Van Tate tweets from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev., as the UNM Lobos and the UNLV Running Rebels battle for the Mountain West Conference championship.

3:49 p.m.    The UNM Lobos and UNLV Runnin Rebels clash for the Mountain West Tournament title is only minutes away.

4:06 p.m.:    Boyz to Men just finished singing the National Anthem at the Mountain West Championship Game.

4:28 p.m.:    Lobos and UNLV tied at 11 with 14:21 left in the first half.

4:36 p.m.:    Hugh Greenwood back to back 3′s. Lobos lead UNLV 19 to 15 with 11:12 left in the first half.

4:46 p.m.    Lobos lead UNLV 26 to 22 with 7:56 left in the first half.

5:08 p.m.:    Lobos lead UNLV 34 to 32 at the half.

5:25 p.m.:    The Lobos are shooting 44 percent while the Rebels are shooting 36 percent.

6:04 p.m.:    Lobos lead UNLV 56 to 47 with 3:42 remaining in the game.

6:12 p.m.:    Lobos lead cut to 3. Under 2 minutes.

Lobos defeat UNLV 63-56 to win Mountain West title.

More coverage on KRQE.com: Players react, link to game details »

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Lobo Women lose to San Diego State

March 15th, 2013 at 3:05 pm by under Sports

The UNM Women’s Lobo Basketball team has lost 39-67 against San Diego State in the semi-final round of the Mountain West Conference in Las Vegas Friday afternoon. The Lobo women shot 16 percent in the first half and trail San Diego State 34 to 15 in the second half. We’ll have full coverage of the game on KRQE News 13 at 4:30pm and 5:30pm