No. 21 New Mexico lone undefeated team after Purdue’s loss

Jan 2, 2023, 12:56 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2023, 6:17 am
Fans light up the stands with cell phone flashlights during the first half an NCAA college basketba...

Fans light up the stands with cell phone flashlights during the first half an NCAA college basketball game between Colorado State and New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

(Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

              Purdue forward Mason Gillis (0) is surrounded after a rebound by Rutgers players , left to right, Aundre Hyatt Clifford Omoruyi, Caleb McConnell and Cam Spencer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. Rutgers defeated Purdue 65-64. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
            
              Fans light up the stands with cell phone flashlights during the first half an NCAA college basketball game between Colorado State and New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. (Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)
            
              FILE - Iona head coach Rick Pitino gestures as his team plays against Alabama in the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Indianapolis, March 20, 2021. University of New Mexico coach Richard Pitino says the upcoming matchup Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, against Iona is business as usual for the unbeaten Lobos. He still acknowledges the game is getting added exposure because it pits him against his father, Rick. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Purdue had cleared every hurdle in its way, holding the top spot in the AP Top 25 for four straight weeks

Rutgers changed that Monday night with a 65-64 victory that will surely knock the Boilermakers from No. 1.

The loss leaves one undefeated team: No. 21 New Mexico.

The Lobos were picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West Conference, but have exceeded expectations in Richard Pitino’s second season as coach.

New Mexico (14-0, 2-0 MWC) is off to its best start since the 1967-68 team opened 17-0 and last week moved into the AP poll for the first time in eight years.

“We have a refuse to lose mentality,” junior guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. said after the Wyoming game.

New Mexico gets two more chances to prove that this week.

The Lobos first put their undefeated season on the line Wednesday at Fresno State, which is 5-8 and has lost three of its past five games.

Get through that and New Mexico hosts UNLV on Saturday in what should be a raucous atmosphere.

The Lobos played in front of the largest crowd at The Pit in seven years while beating Colorado State last Wednesday and having the Runnin’ Rebels in town will likely draw another 15,000-or-so fans out.

FROG HOOPS

TCU’s football team will play Georgia for a football national championship on Monday.

The hoopin’ Horned Frogs (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) have been on a bit of a run of their own, stretching their winning streak to 10 straight games by rallying from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Texas Tech 67-61 last week.

TCU rose to No. 17 in this week’s AP Top 25, but has a difficult week ahead.

The Frogs kick off their week Wednesday at No. 19 Baylor, which dropped seven spots in this week’s poll after losing to No. 25 Iowa State. The Cyclones head to Fort Worth on Sunday after playing at Oklahoma on Wednesday.

ARKANSAS’ TESTS

TCU isn’t the only team with two games against ranked teams this week.

No. 13 Arkansas is looking to get back on track after struggling offensively in a 60-57 road loss to LSU last week. The Razorbacks scored 20 points below their season scoring average and shot 4 of 25 from 3 in the loss.

Arkansas next will face surprising Missouri.

Picked to finish 11th in the Southeastern Conference, the No. 20 Tigers (12-1) are off to their best start since 2013-14 after blowing out Kentucky last week.

After that, the Razorbacks play at No. 22 Auburn on Saturday. The Tigers had a stretch of two losses in three games before knocking off Washington and Florida their past two games.

CONFERENCE WATCH

The ACC season has started and two teams picked to finish middle of the pack are near the top.

No. 12 Miami (13-1, 4-0 ACC) has been the class of the league so far, entering Wednesday’s game against Georgia Tech on a nine-game winning streak.

The Hurricanes have a half-game lead over Clemson (11-3, 3-0), which off to its best league start since 2017-18 heading into games against Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh this week.

The Panthers (10-4, 3-0) have won nine of 10 games since opening 1-3, including a 76-74 win over North Carolina last Friday. Pittsburgh gets another big test against No. 13 Virginia on Tuesday.

___

AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) plays against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio during the...
Associated Press

Jimmy Butler scores 23 as Heat hold off Cavaliers 100-97

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat showed their experience down the stretch in a 100-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Caleb Martin scored 18 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds, and Tyler Herro also scored […]
19 hours ago
FILE -U.S. Olympic team head coach Teri McKeever speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Olympi...
Associated Press

Cal fires swim coach McKeever, winner of 4 NCAA team titles

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Longtime University of California women’s swimming coach Teri McKeever was fired Tuesday following an investigation into alleged harassment, bullying and verbally abusive conduct, the school said in a statement. McKeever led the Golden Bears to four NCAA team titles over 29 years. She coached the U.S. women’s swim team at the […]
19 hours ago
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James tosses powder before an NBA basketball game against the New York K...
Associated Press

James climbs to fourth place on NBA’s career assists list

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James has climbed into fourth place on the NBA’s assists list as he closes in on becoming the league’s career scoring leader. James passed both Mark Jackson (10,334) and Steve Nash (10,335) in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday. His 10,336th assist […]
19 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid celebrates with defensive end Frank Clark, right, after the...
Associated Press

Andy Reid turned a 6-inch binder into a Hall of Fame resume

Andy Reid was an unknown assistant in Green Bay when Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie took a chance on hiring Brett Favre’s position coach to revive a struggling franchise in Philadelphia. A newspaper headline greeted Reid’s arrival with a headline that said: “Andy Who?” Everybody knows his name now. Reid won more games (130) than any […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Michigan State's Khary Crump waits for a play to begin during the team's NCAA college footba...
Associated Press

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field. Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan […]
19 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers' Jauan Jennings, left, and Trey Lance embrace on the bench in the final minute ...
Associated Press

49ers head into offseason with more questions at quarterback

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers head into another offseason with major questions at quarterback after a season filled with injuries to the most important position ended without any of them physically able to throw the the ball downfield. Trey Lance, who began the season as starter, is getting close to being […]
19 hours ago
No. 21 New Mexico lone undefeated team after Purdue’s loss