… except when the University of New Mexico Lobos lose to Harvard.
Losing in the first rounds is not unusual for the Lobos. Indeed, it’s like the sun coming up every day. They have a good season, they get into NCAA tournament, then one and done, sometimes two and done, but done quickly nevertheless.
This time was slightly different in that they had a really good season and they were given a good seed. There was hope. There was optimism that for once, they’d be part of the Elite Eight.
Except Harvard — Harvard! — put an end to that. In the first round.
Arizona, of course, quickly took care of Harvard. Arizona and New Mexico used to play each other a lot, but Arizona got too big for the WAC (both schools were in that conference at that time). I saw the 2013 bracket and thought it’d be great if UA and UNM played each other again. Never thinking the Lobos would lose to … Harvard.
I care slightly about this because UNM is my alma mater. I usually don’t follow the teams (football is abysmal) except when they make a little noise. And they did this year; an ESPN site even suggested a First Seed for UNM was possible (not in a million years). Third Seed, pretty high for those Lobos, though. Maybe this time, maybe, oh, please …
And then along came Harvard.
(Not that I have anything against Harvard, certainly not academically. Lots of smart people come out of there [too many lawyers, though]. And I suppose it’s a cliche to think of Ivy League teams as easy walk-overs. Harvard had a good team this year, they exploited it and got as far as the second round in the tournament.
By defeating the Lobos.
(Unless, of course, Harvard is jonesing so hard for some of that sports money that the college is doing what other “top” schools have done in de-emphasizing academics. Say it ain’t so, Harvard.)
Well, there’s always next year.
Ha! And you think things will be different?.