With six basketball games left in the regular season, are the national pundits giving the New Mexico Lobos any respect?
Surprisingly, the answer is yes.
Let's take a look at Real Time Sports. They predict that New Mexico will go 4-2 down the stretch, but even that is a surprise. They have the Lobos losing to Colorado State on the road, but they expect UNM to beat San Diego State at home and lose to Air Force on the road for a 25-6 record.
There are two credible sources for predictions on seeding and brackets for the NCAA Tournament. Both have the Lobos a No. 3 seed. ESPN has UNM a No. 3 seed at Austin and has it playing Florida Gulf Coast in the first round and the Oklahoma State-St. Louis in the second round. If you have never heard of FGCU, it happens to be the last team to beat the Miami Hurricanes. And St. Louis happens to be one of the four teams to beat New Mexico this season.
CBS Sports also has UNM a No. 3 seed at Austin. But they have the Lobos playing Montana in the first round and the Marquette-LaSalle winner in the second round.
Both brackets have four Mountain West Conference teams in the field. Colorado State is the No. 7 seed in both. San Diego State is a No. 7 in Real time and a No. 5 in CBS. UNLV is a No. 8 in Real Time and a No. 7 in CBS.
ESPN has Duke, Miami, Michigan and Indiana as the four top seeds. Syracuse, Gonzaga, Florida and Arizona are the No. 2 seeds. New Mexico is a No. 3 with Kansas, Louisville and Michigan St.
Boise State still has an outside chance to give the MWC a fifth team in the field. The Broncos are No. 42 in the RPI and No. 44 in Real Time. One or two upset wins -- like at New Mexico on Saturday -- could boost BSU in contention. ESPN lists the first four teams out and now has the next four teams out and Boise State is in that second four out.
The national message boards aren't showing much respect to the Lobos or the MWC. All of the ACC and Big Ten fans agree that they expect New Mexico to go out in the second round again. But Colorado State gets less respect. Better things are expected from San Diego State and UNLV because they have bigger names.