While the entire college basketball world was concentrating on the Duke and Syracuse game on Saturday night, the Blue Devils win may not have been the most intriguing storyline on the day. Instead, San Diego State, who was ranked #6 in the country and only had two loses on the season going into their matchup against New Mexico, was upset by the unranked Lobos. And while this may have hurt San Diego State enough to knock them back a few spots when the polls are released on Monday, the win for New Mexico could be enough to have them jump into the top 25 as we approach the final weeks of the season.
There was no denying that New Mexico was going to live and die by Cameron Bairstow on Saturday night. Of the Lobos 58 points, Bairstow had 26 of them. The 6’9” senior from Australia is averaging 20 points on the season, but his 26 on Saturday might’ve been the most valuable as the Lobos look to build their resume in hopes of getting into the National Tournament. At 21-5, and 12-2 in the Mountain West, their resume is looking even stronger and they’ll hope for a seeding somewhere between a four and a seven spot.
We also shouldn’t go without mentioning that New Mexico had 3 votes in the AP Polls last week, a number that you would think to increase above 100, which is typically what is needed to break into the Top 25. They’ll get competition from another bubble team in North Carolina, which had their own huge upset earlier this week. However, with teams like Texas and UCLA losing on Saturday, there will likely be enough wiggle room for the Lobos to get into the polls.
As for San Diego State, the loss isn’t a catastrophic one. After all, the Lobos were atop the MWC and have had their own impressive run this year as well. However, the Aztecs were hoping that with teams ahead of them like Arizona, Syracuse and Duke losing this week, they might’ve been able to slip into a top five spot. That is highly unlikely now, and it’s more probable that they’ll drop as far back as 10th in the nation.
All around the Aztecs just couldn’t get things rolling on Saturday. They only put up 44 total points and they shot a measly 32% from the field. Their leading scorer was Winston Shepard, who had just 10 points on the evening.
If it doesn’t break them down, a loss like this could be good for the Aztecs, especially at this time in the year. It should be enough to wake them up and make them realize that they aren’t safe even in their own conference, and also make them realize that the competition is only going to get stiffer once the tournament starts.
San Diego State sits at 40/1 favorites to win the National Championship this year. They’ll hope to get back on track as they play San Jose State on Tuesday.
The Lobos sit at 150/1 odds and will hope to ride the momentum of this win, as well as a potential Top 25 ranking, when they play Utah State on Tuesday night as well.
|San Diego State Aztecs|
|Josh Davis, F||23||3-7||0-0||0-0||2||2||4||0||1||0||2||2||6|
|JJ O’Brien, F||35||4-12||0-0||0-1||4||1||5||0||3||1||0||2||8|
|Skylar Spencer, F||25||2-4||0-0||0-2||3||2||5||1||0||2||1||4||4|
|Winston Shepard, F||31||5-13||0-1||0-0||3||3||6||1||1||0||4||0||10|
|Xavier Thames, G||35||3-15||1-3||0-0||1||1||2||2||0||0||0||0||7|
|Matt Shrigley, F||11||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||3||3||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Dwayne Polee II, F||20||2-6||0-2||0-0||1||3||4||0||2||0||2||0||4|
|Aqeel Quinn, G||17||2-6||1-3||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||5|
|Dakarai Allen, G||2||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|D’Erryl Williams, G||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|New Mexico Lobos|
|Alex Kirk, C||37||3-11||0-2||0-0||0||9||9||0||0||5||4||3||6|
|Cameron Bairstow, F||36||11-18||0-0||4-6||1||8||9||0||0||1||0||0||26|
|Kendall Williams, G||34||4-10||2-6||0-0||1||2||3||7||0||0||1||3||10|
|Hugh Greenwood, G||35||3-3||0-0||0-0||1||4||5||4||1||1||4||3||6|
|Deshawn Delaney, G||26||1-1||0-0||0-0||2||0||2||4||3||0||1||2||2|
|Merv Lindsay, F||7||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Cleveland Thomas, G||10||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||2||2||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Cullen Neal, G||15||3-5||2-4||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||8|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None – TEAMS: None
Officials: Kipp Kissinger, Mike Reed, Glen Mayberry