The Daily Aggie :: 12/11/10

Gameday. The Aggies take on the Lobos tonight in The Pit. The Aggies are not only looking to stop a six-game losing streak against the Lobos but also the six-game losing streak that they currently find themselves on. In the WAC, their losing streak is second only to Nevada's current seven game slide which figures to end tonight as the Pack takes on San Francisco State. The Aggies need a victory tonight. If they can find a way to win tonight, they should win their next two games on the schedule and can carry a little momentum into their final three non-conference games against Pacific, Louisiana and St. Mary's. A six game winning streak would certainly erase a lot of bad feelings from this current six-game losing streak.

The keys to winning tonight? We mentioned a few keys yesterday, namely the three point shooting. The keys to the game are similar to the keys from last week's game.

The Aggie MUST be able to manage the pressure of the environment at The Pit. It's likely to be a sellout and unlike the 8,500 turnout for the game in the Pan Am, there will likely be 17,000-plus hostile fans in Albuquerque. The Aggies have not handled the environment very well.

The Aggies cannot allow UNM to get hot shooting three pointers. As we pointed out yesterday, the Aggies don't have the guns to get into a three point shooting contest with the Lobos. As ridiculous as this sounds, the Aggies have to control the tempo. They need to limit their turnovers and the Aggies have to have someone else besides Troy Gillenwater step up. The Aggies need to have at least three players in double-digits scoring if they want to win tonight.

But the absolute biggest key tonight is to not fall behind early. The Aggies have dug themselves big, big holes in the last three games against the Lobos and while they've come back to make the games very competitive, they've also expended a lot of energy doing so. Eliminate the poor start and the Aggies have a great shot at pulling the upset.

The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff and can be seen on The Mountain (Comcast 276; DirecTV 616). Radio coverage is available via the Aggie Sports Network and streaming audio will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

One side note, if you want to know the difference between New Mexico's funding and New Mexico State's funding, just look at The Pit tonight on the broadcast. The renovations that were made to The Pit illustrate the monetary disparity between the Aggies and Lobos.

As expected, Hawai'i announced officially yesterday that they are leaving the WAC. The Warrior football team will compete in the Mountain West while the remaining sports will join the Big West.

It's a huge blow for the WAC and for New Mexico State. It affects four sports in particular. Football loses the last program with any semblance of success. Volleyball loses it's premiere team. Softball loses a perennial Top 25 team and a Women's College World Series participant from a year ago and baseball loses a perennial league title contender (and winner of last year's WAC tournament).

The question now becomes, will there be one final Mountain West raid? If there is, it would likely be the "death blow" for the WAC as a football playing conference. Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune notes that Utah State might be the next team to leave the WAC for the greener pastures of the Mountain West but that depends on the financial viability of adding a football championship game (which requires 12 teams).

On to today's links...

Aggie Men's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News writes that it's Gordo Castillo's last chance to win at The Pit.

Jason Groves also previews tonight's game.

Jason Groves blogs that this could be the game that the light comes on for the Aggies.

The Sports Network previews tonight's game.

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