Sports Speak Up: Mountain West on quest to impress

Mar. 21—Praise for Lobos, Pitino, House

Congratulations to the 2023-24 MWC conference (tournament) champions NM Lobos. To defeat the current national runner-up is truly an amazing accomplishment. The Lobo fans at the Pit West Arena (formerly know as the Thomas & Mack) were in rare form all weekend. Our fans truly showed up, showed out and willed our team to a magical, euphoric win that the Lobo Nation will be talking about many years from now. On to the March Madness of the NCAA Tournament. How 'bout them Lobos!

George Scott — When UNM men's basketball lost to Air Force at home, out came the Richard Pitino detractors. Particularly those who believe they have the unique ability to diagnose that something's "off" but they're not quite sure what it is or that because they've had season tickets for decades and multiple degrees blah blah ... yet here we are. I wonder if they're as willing to praise coach Pitino.

Pitino has done a tremendous job turning this program around. His on-court demeanor is professional. No yelling, jumping up and down, craziness, slamming clipboards (Alford). He clearly has the players' respect and he respects them. I hope we can keep him.

Jack Pitino's the best Lobo fan.

David L. Plante, regular old Lobo fan — Jaelen, I'm writing this to thank you for being a Lobo. Lobo fans love this team, win or lose, because we appreciate not only the obvious talent, but more importantly the effort and team togetherness, and it starts with you (and your sidekick Jamal). I believe this is what Lobo fans crave — not just wins, but having players of your caliber give such amazing effort and have each other's backs. We will miss you dude.

Kenneth Sanderson

Rooting for all MWC teams

It is apparent that the seeding of Mountain West Conference teams going to the NCAA Tournament was terrible, in particular for the Lobos. How are the Lobos seeded 11th when they beat San Diego State twice and Nevada twice (once by 34 points)? Both SDSU and Nevada are seeded higher.

The six (MWC) teams that (made the NCAA Tournament) deserved more. During the season these six outstanding teams from New Mexico, Utah State, San Diego State, Boise State, Colorado State and Nevada spent the whole season beating up on each other and the competition was fierce to say the least.

I will be rooting for the Lobos as I have been a fan and season ticket holder for many years. I will also root for the rest of the Mountain West teams and hopefully they will all advance.

Dan Salas

Football-only conferences?

All the realignment in college sports is being driven by football. As much as I love football, I hate what this is doing to tradition. I am also concerned about how this affects all the other sports. Cross-country travel for sports that play multiple times each week will be even harder on athletes in sports like basketball, baseball and softball.

I would like to see the traditional — and somewhat regional — conferences return and have football-only conferences. Where I coached high school football and wrestling in California, that system is used. Most sports leagues are determined geographically. This often creates leagues with considerable differences in enrollment; but that does not mean the competition is necessarily unfair. Football leagues are different and are based on the strengths of the programs.

Donn Fishburn

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