No. 21 New Mexico lone undefeated team after Purdue’s loss
Jan 2, 2023, 12:56 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2023, 6:17 am
(Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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