New Mexico is fresh off of their amazing 70-69 win over George Mason, and now they face No. 21 ranked Connecticut in the Paradise Jam tournament championship game. This is a chance for New Mexico to earn a spot in the rankings, and earn a good win to boost their NCAA Tournament resume.
UConn is also coming off of a narrow win as they snuck past Quinnipiac 89-83 in double overtime, and hopefully Monday night's game is as good as those other one's.
We all know that New Mexico is led by Tony Snell and Kendall Williams. Both have achieved career-highs during this tournament. The one area where the Lobos must improve is their three-point defense, so far this year they are allowing opposing teams to shoot 40.5 percent.
The one area where UConn is vulnerable is on the boards where they have been out rebounded by 8.7 per game. The key players for New Mexico to watch are Shabazz Napier, who is averaging 20 points per game, and Ryan Boatright who is scoring 14 a game.
The Huskies offense is nothing great this year, as they are averaging just 74.8 points per game, and that is 102nd in the nation, but the Lobos are actually slightly worse at 74 per game. Going off of that, this game should be a close one, plus there is the fact that New Mexico is receiving votes and UConn is at the low end of the polls.
This is a game that if New Mexico wins they will earn some national attention, and show the nation that the Mountain West is more than a two-team race.