Aug 16, 2013
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Fans in Albuquerque, and everywhere else for that matter, should be able to get their fill of Lobo basketball. New Mexico netted a total of 16 nationally televised conference games out of 18, and 23 overall, with more potentially to come as the Mountain West released the conference schedule for all 11 teams today.
The Lobos will have 16 games on the ESPN family of networks, ranging from ESPN2 (three times minimum, and up to five) to ESPN3. All ESPN games are available on the internet through ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN app. The Lobos will also have seven games on CBS Sports Network. To this point, seven games, including five home games, have not been selected to television, but that should change.
"It's going to be the most exposure that we have had here," said head coach Craig Neal. "I think even when they had Big Monday here, I think it was maybe once a month. With us being able to play 16 games, and maybe more, on ESPN, that's a huge deal."
CBS Sports Network still has a little more than a two-week window in which to select games. After that window closes, ROOT Sports, which is now available in high definition in New Mexico, and the Mountain West Network will select games. After that, a local television package can be arranged as well.
"It's huge national exposure, it helps in recruiting, and it helps people really understand what kind of basketball program here and what we've established. Not only that it helps our fans, our city, and it let's everyone know what New Mexico is about."
A new wrinkle in the conference this year is the schedule itself, which for the first time in league history is not a true round robin, as the 11 teams will each play 18 games. Each team plays eight teams home-and-home and two teams just once. For the Lobos, they will play Air Force just once, in The Pit on March 5, and they will travel to Fresno State just once, on January 18.
The Lobos will open conference play on January 4 against Colorado State, and end the conference season on March 8 at San Diego State. Overall, the Lobos will be playing 15 home games in The Pit, where UNM averaged 15,022 fans last year, good for 16th nationally. It marked the 47th straight year that the Lobos have finished in the top 25 in attendance.
The Lobos are guaranteed three games on ESPN2. UNM's game with Kansas on December 14 in Kansas City, and then back-to-back games in February. The Lobos will be at UNLV on February 19 and hosting San Diego State on February 22, both on ESPN2. The Lobos could get two other games on ESPN2 in the Charleston Classic.
NOTES: The Lobos' only conference games that are not currently slated for TV are the two San Jose State games ... five of UNM's conference games will start at 9:05 p.m., but only one of those is at home ... any game on ESPN3 exclusively will have the game time set by the host institution ... some of the Wednesday games could be moved to Tuesday, and some Saturday games could move to Sunday.