ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Lots of Lobo fans called the Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship the definition of a nail biter with both teams in what seemed like a constant back-and-forth battle for the lead.
Now, fans eyes are on the NCAA Tournament with bigger hopes than last year.
After bowing out of the tournament in the first round in 2013, fans say they hope this latest win will help carry the team on to new heights this season.
With a clutch three-pointer from Lobo guard Kendall Williams near the end of the game, Lobo fans couldn’t have asked for a better finish.
“It’s amazing. I mean these guys are great players, we’re proud of them,” said Governor Susana Martinez, who watched the game live in Las Vegas. “This is what New Mexico is all about!!”
It was enough to bring thousands of fans watching from New Mexico to their feet.
“Lobos were the better team, you could tell,” said Anthony Ortiz, an Albuquerque Lobo fan.
To roaring approval, the Lobo men’s basketball team got revenge over bitter rival San Diego State on Saturday to win the Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship. The win comes after San Diego State came back to beat the Lobos last week.
“It increases that bitter rivalry. San Diego hates us, they don’t like.. don’t like us,” said Tony Baca, an Albuquerque Lobo fan.
While the Lobos may have the last laugh in the conference this season, fans say they’re hoping for more out of the team.
“I’m interested what seed we’ll get, you know, we’re clicking on all cylinders right now. Our team’s doing good,” said Shannon Tanner, an Albuquerque Lobo fan.
Selection Sunday will determine which seed the Lobos get in the NCAA Tournament, a tournament the Lobos have never won two games in.
“I think they’re way more hungry and the reason is because they have something to prove from last year,” said Ortiz.
Last year, one of the best Lobo teams ever with a high rank in the tournament ended up losing in the first round to a low ranking Harvard team.
“I remember Harvard and I hope the guys do too and I’d get in deep,” said Calvin Currier, an Albuquerque Lobo fan.
Looking forward, Lobo fans are once again dreaming big and hoping for the best.
“I think we’re a four seed, I think Sweet 16 for sure, I think possible Elite Eight,” said Ortiz.
The last time the Lobos won a tournament game was in 2012, the team has never been to the Sweet 16.