FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- It’s about 30 minutes until tipoff between No. 12 New Mexico and Colorado State and Moby Arena isn’t exactly showing the type of energy you’d expect for hosting a Top 25 team.
There are less than 1,500 people in the building now and I was told by Colorado State media relations to expect less than 4,000. The arena holds 8,745. Press row is mostly deserted. The students showed up, though. Both end zones have a healthy dose of students, some with no shirts on. The general population and donor seats are mostly empty.
Colorado State is 15-11 and 6-6 in the Mountain West Conference. It’s lost its last two games by an average of 26.5 points. But come on, it’s free T-shirt night. Oh, and the No. 12 team in the country is here.
New Mexico should win this game handily similar to the way BYU (92-70) and UNLV (70-39), the other top teams in the Mountain West, did in the past two games. The only concern is that New Mexico could be looking ahead to Saturday’s game against No. 11 BYU. The Lobos and Cougars are tied atop the Mountain West and the winner of that game will clinch at least a share of the conference title.
A player to watch in this game is guard Darington Hobson, who leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. If he continues on his current pace, he’ll be the first player in New Mexico basketball history to lead the team in all three categories.