New Mexico, the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament champs, were poised for a big run in March. Naturally, the Lobos lost in the first round to Harvard, an 11-point underdog.
How did one beat writer respond to the defeat? He quit. Dennis Latta, who claimed to have covered the team for “much” of the last 33 years, is exiting stage left.
"But I won’t be wrong again. It was a lot easier to take when expectations were lower. Losing was acceptable because UNM had almost always lost when it really counted. You didn’t have visions of greatness, only to have them dashed. After the pitiful performance UNM put up against a team that doesn’t even offer scholarships, I’ve given up. Having all five starters back next season means nothing on a team that can just disappear like that. I’d be back to wondering when it would collapse, have a terrible game and lose to an inferior team again. No, I’ve had it. I’ve been to my last Lobo basketball game after covering the team for much of the last 33 years. Good-bye Lobo basketball."
Dennis Latta was wrong about a lot – as he so eloquently states in the linked piece – but he’s right about one thing: If Tony Snell passes up the NBA, the Lobos will return their entire starting lineup from a 29-6 team and be a preseason Top 10 team. The Lobos could even be in the Top 5. As we’ll see in the coming weeks, experience matters in March. You’re bailing at a bad time, Dennis. [Rivals]