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Dear Linz Fanatics:
The Linz is unhappy with the responses he is getting on his desperate plea to give Steve "Un-Alford-Able" Alford a nickname.
The Linz also is unhappy with The Trib's Iliana 'Fe Fe" Le-Moan. Well, just because she's "Fe Fe" Le-Moan.
The Linz is unhappy with the responses because they stink The Linz was figuring all the unemployed posters on Red Menace would have lots of time to come up with some cool monikers for Un-Alford-Able. But then The Linz has read their posts. B-O-R-I-N-G. Well, except when they are bashing Doughnut Smith or Rick R. Wrong. The Linz loves those posts. Then The Red Menace guys are poetic studs.
The Linz just doesn't understand why The Red Menace boys are always attacking The Linz. The Linz is a regular guy. The Linz "are" a UNM graduate. The Linz will sit down and have a cool one with anyone == if they are buying. The Linz learned this trick from RudeDog Davalos. The Linz is a lot like the dudes on Red Menace, well, except The Great One has a job, doesn't live with his mother, has spellcheck on his computer, and doesn't worship the ground that Bandito walks on.
Actually, The Linz once went and looked at the ground that Bandito walks on. There were huge holes from all that weight. The Linz thought a T-Rex had just walked by. The Linz once went and looked at the ground Dom walked on, too. They had named it the Grand Canyon.
The sad thing is that the two best suggestions for Alford come from a Albuquerque basher from Hobbs and Andrew Leo Lopez -- a Flanagan basher. Of course, The Linz has yet to hear from Sid down in Socorro. The Linz is figuring Sid will save The Great One. Sid is cynical. Sid is cool.
Signed: The Great One
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Connecticut Huskies dodged a bullet Sunday night in the NCAA Tournament.
No, The Linz isn't talking about UConn's 49-point win over some team The Linz has never heard of. The Linz is talking about the major upset by Wisconsin-Green Bay over the University of New Mexico Lobos.
The Linz was blasted on Lobo internet gossip sites for daring to suggest that the Lobos might have some difficulty in beating the No. 1 seed Huskies, should both those powerhouses advance.
Now, The Great One -- and all those same internet genius types who picked Ritchie McKay's Lobos to reach the Sweet 16 early this year -- will never know what might have been.
Oh, the Huskies won and advanced.
The Lobos didn't.
The Lobos were kicked out of the NCAA first round 59-52 by some other team The Great One has never heard of.
The Lobos weren't ready to play. The Lobos were flat. The Lobos must of had visions of the Huskies dancing in their heads.
Because of that -- and because of the Wisconsin-Green Bay Cheddar Girls -- the Lobos aren't dancing anymore.
"I think they wanted it more," said Don Flanagan, UNM's head coach. "I was disappointed in the way we played."
So was The Linz.
In one of the worse NCAA losses in UNM hstory -- if not the worst -- the Lobos were pounded out of the NCAA first round 59-52 by The Cheese Girls.
The better team did not win on this cold night in Connecticut. Oh, maybe it did. But the Lobos were simply awful. This was the Lobos team that started the Mountain West 0-3. This was the Lobos team that lost at UNLV.
This was not the Lobos team that won the Mountain West tourney.
The Lobos did not rebound and did not run much of an offense. The Lobos were outworked and that is why The Cheese Girls worked the Lobos by seven points -- a game really not that close.
This hurts because The Cheddar girls were no more talented than Utah, Brigham Young or Wyoming. The Cheese Girls looked like something the Lobos might play in the first round of the Lobo Invite, not the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
This hurts because the Lobos probably were the quicker team, the more athletic team, the taller team.
If this was the Lobos men The Great One was writing about, he'd call it a major choke. Since it's the sweet Lobos women, The Linz will just call it an opportunity lost.
The Cheese Girls took control of both halves early and that was key to their win. They outscored UNM 10-2 to start the first half and 11-2 to start the second half. The Lobos rebounded from their first-half deficit. They did not rally -- much -- from the second-half hole.
"They wanted it more than us," said Flanagan.
So true. And they got it. Lucky thing for UConn.
Here's the way The Linz saw the two halves. Of course, you need to remember The Linz had tears in his eyes most of the second half. The Great One was looking forward to three more days on The Trib credit card:
The Cheddar Girls open the second half strong. They get on a nice 11-2 run before Flanagan calls a timeout. Flanagan pulled a Ritchie McKay here and waited a couple of possessions too long. At the first media timeout of the second half -- called by The Linz -- The Cheese Girls are back up 39-33. Just like the first half, UNM gets off slow.
Two big keys to this half -- UNM needs to rebound better, Cheese Girls need to hit their free throws and contain UNM's Dionne Marsh.
Ät 14:15, Brandi Kimble hits one free throw to make it 41-34 for WGB.
WGB comes back to hit a wide open trey to make it 44-34. Lobos showing a little impatience on offense. Not enough Marsh either.
At the 13:00 mark, WGB gets five offensive rebounds in a row -- on one offensive possession. Amazing. That was with Marsh on the bench. Flanagan finally puts her back in. Lobos continue to struggle.
At the 9:04 mark, UNM is down 48-36. Flanagan again takes Marsh out. He is going small. It's a gamble though. Not much of an inside threat for UNM on offense.
At 8:10ish, Briody throws up a horrible shot. Way too long and way off to the right side of the glass. It kisses the glass and goes in.
This is a big psychological hoop. It shouldn't have gone in but it did. It also cut the Cheddar Girls' lead to under double digits -- 48-39 with 7:47 to play.
7:08 mark -- GB up 52-41. At 6:41 timeout, GB up 52-41. Lobos need to make a charge. Flanagan needs to put Marsh back into the game. He doesn't do it.
The Linz is thinking Flanagan is using some master strategy. You know, keep his best player on the bench for so long that she either falls asleep or gets fired up and wins the game in the final five minutes.
Timeout at 5:54. Marsh still on bench. Flanagan does put in Kimble -- one of his better defenders.
At 5:33, Cheddar Girls up 53-43. == Marsh back in. Let's see if Flanagan's strategy works. Marsh immediately fouled at 5:17 mark. Misses first. Misses second. But Marsh steals ball and Montgomery hits a trey. UNM down 53-46.
Huge play by Marsh. Huge shot by Montgomery.
At 3:09, Marsh goes to line with UNM down 55-46. UNM had a couple of chances to cut into lead but miss shots. Briody also had a big turnover on the baseline. The game is almost to the point where The Cheddar Girls will either win or lose the game at the free throw line. UNM is going to have to start fouling soon. Cheddar Girls are good free throw shooters.
Back to Marsh. She bricks first free throw. She hits second one to make it 56-46 -- 10 point deficit against a team with pretty good guards. Kimble makes a great defensive stop and then throws the ball away on the offesnive end. The end is almost near. Begin flops on the other end at 2:25 and WGB turns over the ball. UNM down 55-47.
At 2:07, Montgomery misses. Jump ball goes to WGB. Cheddar Girls go up 57-47 with 1:34 to play. That's it. Lobos outscore Cheddar Girls 5-2 in the final minute.
Cheddar Girls get to play UConn. The Linz figures since The Cheese Girls beat UNM, they'll probably beat UConn by 20.
Well, at least that's probably what all those internet Lobos are thinking....
When The Cheese Head Girls from Wisconsin came out for the opening tip, The Linz thought he was looking at BYU all dressed up in green for St. Patrick's Day. Or maybe Wyoming.
The Lobos' problem was they played to The Cheese Girls' tempo for a while --- very slow. At the 15:40 mark, it was 4-2 Cheese Girls. UNM's Marsh was having trouble shooting over the tall Cheese. Montgomery and Briody hadn't yet showed up to play. They looked kind of hesitate to The Great One's well-trained eyes.
The Cheese Girls pushed it to 6-2 with a couple of free throws. Flanagan, naturally, was going nuts on the sidlelines. Is The Linz the only one who has noticed that every foul called against the Lobos is a felon and every foul called for the Lobos is pure justice. Flanagan is the coach who cries "Wolf."
At the 14:27 mark, Flanagan was begging for a timeout. The Cheese Girls led 10-2 and actually were playing smarter than the Lobos -- and faster. The Lobos were the slowest team on the court. Not an easy thing to do.
Kimble finally hits a shot for UNM at 13:01. 10-4. Erin Templin comes back to bang in a trey for The Cheese Girls -- 13-4 Green Bay. Kimble again at 12:10 to make it 13-7. The Lobos defense has picked up some intenstiy but the Cheese Girls are playing well together and getting some nice looks. The Cheddar Heads go up 15-7 at the 11:47 mark. The Lobos offense hasn't done much. Just Kimble.
Montgomery steps up -- finally -- and takes a shot. And hits it. A trey, UNM down 15-11. Montgomery again at 9:20. Another trey. UNM down 15-14. The score is beginning to change in UNM's favor, but more importantly, the Lobos are beginning to move at a faster pace. Finally, UNM is the quickest team on the court.
At the 8:16 mark, Marsh hits two free throws to tie the game at 16-16. Briody is fouled at 6:43 and hits two to push UNM into the lead at 18-16. It should be all down hill from now on for the Lobos. Look out UConn! The Linz is thinking the Lobos finally realize they are the quicker and the better team on the floor.
The Cheese Girls look like Northern Arizona on a good day. Not very athletic. But the Cheese Girls aren't bad and they know how to block out under the boards.
UNM's Amy Begin palms the ball big time near the top of the key, gets her defender off balance and drives in for a sweet little jumper. UNM up 25-21 at the 3:13 timeout. The Linz noticed the UConn Huskies were up in the corner of watching the first half. Surely, shaking in their Husky boots realizing they had to play the winner of this game between such powerhouses.
The Lobos get a trey from Christian Shelter down the stretch and lead 29-26 at the half. It's Shelter's second trey of the season. Kimble is the top scorer at that halfway mark with seven points. Montgomery has six points on two treys. The Lobos have a one-point edge at the free-throw line and hit four treys to two treys for The Cheddar Girls. The big stat in the first half is in rebounding. The Cheese Girls have a 21-13 edge. The Lobos have seven steals to two for GB.
The Linz is sensing a Lobo win -- but only if UNM hits the boards with a little more passion; and only if Briody, Montgomery and Marsh start to play.
If not, The Lobos and The Linz might not be dancing on Tuesday.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Linz is going dancing. Don Flanagan's Lobos, too.
The Great One would like to thank Flanagan's Lobos for taking The Linz to the NCAA Tournament. The Linz is quite certain that UNM's 65-53 win today in the Mountain West Conference semis over Wyoming will push the Lobos into the NCAA Tournament.
Wyoming's bubble has burst.
TCU is NIT.
That kind of leaves Brigham Young and UNM -- with Utah a longshot on the rail.
The Lobos are now 23-8 on the season and that separates UNM from Wyoming and TCU -- that, plus making the MWC title game makes the Lobos one of the top two teams in the MWC.
The Lobos got 17 points from a gutsy Julie Briody and freshman Amy Beggin banged in a huge trey with 4:20 left to play as UNM powered into the MWC title game to play the winner of today's Brigham Young vs. Utah game.
Unlike most Lobos fans, who were planning to ride Ritchie McKay's Lobos into the NCAA dance, The Linz -- from the season's beginning -- was banking on Flanagan's Lobos. You see, the Lobos women have several things the Lobos men don't have.
A point guard.
The Lobos raced to a 15-5 first-half lead and then hugged a narrow 29-28 lead at the half. But the Lobos women are smart enough not to do the same thing twice. Oh, they might blow a big lead once in a game, but not twice.
They are too scared of Flanagan's wrath.
So, once the Lobos powered ahead in the second half, The Linz was calculating his next chance to blow some Trib expense money.
The Linz is figuring Austin, Texas or Stanford.
The Linz isn't worried that UNM won't go dancing. The MWC is deserving of at least two teams and all UNM had to do to secure an at-large bid was to beat Wyoming and play on Saturday.
Now, it's a done deal.
"I thought it was a great defensive game for us," said Flanagan. "We shot 50 percent in the second half. When we shoot 50 percent, we usually are pretty successul."
Said Briody: "They made a little bit of a run, but we didn't let it bother us. We came out in the first four minutes of the second half and just kept taking it at them."
If you are interested in how the first half went -- here it is:
LAS VEGAS -- The Linz loves the media hotel for the Mountain West tourney -- South Point.
South Point has everything The Linz needs in order to truly appreciate a pigtail game.
South Point has the elusive Mountain TV channel. The Linz recently found out that the Mountain channel is so hard to get, that U.S. military leaders are thinking about using it to plan their next attack on some Third World country.
The Linz is planning to use it to watch the New Mexico Lobos play Texas Christian. The Linz does not think a pigtail game is deserving of The Great One throwing back the sheets and crawling out of bed. And South Point has room service, too.
So, The Linz is going to click on the TV and -- oh, wait -- The Linz has changed his mind. South Point also has the SizzleMax station. If The LInz stays here, ain't no way he is going to watch Lobos play Horned Frogs.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Linz doesn't understand why the TCU Horned Froggies have a big, fancy scoreboard hanging from their ceiling and the Lobos don't.
What's up with that, Paul Krebs?
But the fancy scoreboard came in handy Wednesday night in the Frogs' pond. Unbelievably, TCU beat Ritchie McKay's road warriors 64-52.
"It was horrible," said UNM coach Ritchie McKay.
The Linz likes that catchy phrase. The Linz can think of a few other appropriate phrases, too.
Like -- Goodbye Mountain West title.
Like -- Goodbye NCAA bid.
Like -- Goodbye basketball season.
The Linz actually thought the Lobos would win this game because the Froggies were the worst team in the league in 2006 and were projected to finish last in 2007.
Well, unless the Lobos decide to steal that bottom throne.
The Linz also foolishly forgot one thing. The Lobos were on the road. UNM held a 33-28 halftime lead but choked it away big time.
The Mountain West loss to TCU probably takes UNM out of the race after Game One. Oh, sure, it's early. Oh, sure, the Lobos still have The Pit.
But The Great One does not think too many teams will come into this arena and lose to this TCU team.