Lobos Take on Harvard Thursday in Salt Lake City

March 17, 2013

The University of New Mexico will face Harvard Thursday in the second round of 2013 NCAA men's basketball tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah. Game time will be announced later.

Tickets are available at www.ncaa.com/mbbtickets.

The UNM-Harvard winner will face the winner of Arizona and Belmont Saturday, also at a time TBA.

Games will be played at the Energy Solutions Arena, home to the Utah Jazz of the NBA.

New Mexico (29-5) is the No. 3 seed in the West Region, tying for the highest seed it has received. UNM was a 3 seed in 2010, but fell to 11-seed Washington in the second round. The Lobos were also a 3 seed in 1997.

Harvard (19-9) is seeded 14th.

New Mexico Basketball Quick Facts
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Nickname: Lobos
Conference: Mountain West
Overall Record: 29-5
Conference Record/Place: 13-3 / 1st
Conference Tournament: Beat UNLV 63-56 in the championship game
NCAA Tournament History: 14th appearance / 8-14 record
Last Appearance: 2012 (lost to Louisville, 59-56 in the 3rd round)
Head Coach: Steve Alford (Indiana '87)
Career Record: 463-234 / 22nd season
Record at UNM: 155-51 / 6th season
Alford NCAA Record: 5-6 / 6 appearances
Alford NCAA Record at UNM: 2-2 / 2 appearances

The Lobos gained the league's automatic bid Saturday by defeating UNLV 63-56 in Las Vegas to win the Mountain West tournament for the second consecutive year.

Harvard was Ivy League champions for the second straight season, finishing 11-3.

Winners of the Mountain West regular season title for the second straight season, New Mexico is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its third trip in the past four seasons under sixth-year head coach Steve Alford.

UNM has an 8-14 record in the NCAA tournament, 2-2 under Alford.

Last year, New Mexico was a 5 seed and bounced Long Beach State 75-68 in the second round. The Lobos lost to eventual Final Four participant and 4th-seed Louisville 59-56 in a third-round game in Portland, Ore.

Head coach Tommy Amaker's (Duke '87) Harvard squad was in the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time since 1947, losing to Wisconsin in the second round in Albuquerque.

Steve Alford (Indiana '87) is 463-234 in his 22nd year as a head coach, 155-51 in his sixth season at UNM. The three-time Mountain West coach of the year, Alford has guided New Mexico to four regular season titles in the past five years. The Lobos have won the past two MW tournament titles as well.

This is Alford's seventh career appearance in the NCAA Tournament. He has a 5-6 overall record. In 1999, he took Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) to the Sweet 16. He made three showings while at the University of Iowa (2001, '05, '06) and this is his third appearance with the Lobos (2010, '12, '13).

The Lobos have enjoyed balanced scoring all season as four players are averaging nearly 10.0 points a game.

Junior guard Kendall Williams, the Mountain West Player of the Year, is averaging 13.5 points and 5.0 assists a game. Junior guard Tony Snell, the Most Valuable Player of the MW Tournament, is averaging 12.6 points and has hit a team-high 63 3-pointers.

Sophomore post Alex Kirk is averaging 11.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and has 62 blocks. Kirk was second team all-conference and a member of the league's all-defensive team.

Inserted into the starting lineup 14 games ago at Wyoming on Jan. 30, junior forward Cameron Bairstow was selected to the MW all-tournament team. He is averaging 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds.

Sophomore point guard Hugh Greenwood rounds out the starting lineup. He is averaging 7.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and leads the team with 45 steals.

New Mexico played 17 games against 10 teams that are playing in this year's NCAA Tournament. UNM was 13-4 in those games.

While New Mexico and Harvard are meeting for the first time, the two head coaches have faced each other on the court. In March of 1987, Alford's Indiana team beat Amaker's Duke squad in a regional semifinal game in Cincinnati. The Hoosiers beat the Blue Devils 88-82. IU went on to win the national championship in New Orleans.

Both Alford and Amaker are in their sixth season as the head coach at their respective schools.