2014 NCAA Final Four Set
By Michael Sanchez [ Sat Apr 5 2014 12:16 PM ]
When UNM was tossed from the NCAA Tournament, the Big Dance didn't stop. Last weekend, the tourney was whittled down to the Final Four. The University of Florida Gators, the Wisconsin Badgers, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Connecticut Huskies are the the last four teams left in Division I college basketball. Of these last four teams, there is only one number one seed left: the top team overall, Billy Donovan's crew.
Kentucky has proved the pre-season hype to be justified, defying the odds of an 8 seed. Coach Calipari has coaxed the most out of his powerful, notably Aaron Harrison. Harrison knocked in a 3 ball with 2.3 second left to upset 2-seed Michigan on Sunday night. The Wildcats entered the season with hefty expectations but failed to live up on them for the majority of the slog. With 10 losses, the season could have been seen as a letdown; until March Madness began. After knocking out previously unbeaten Wichita State and intrastate rival Louisville, the team seems to be playing their best ball at the perfect time.
The Connecticut Huskies, on the other hand, may have also been ranked for much of the beginning of the season, but never had the expectations of Big Blue foisted upon them. UConn, content to fly under the radar for much of the season, dominated trendy pre-Tourney pick, Michigan State on Sunday. While the final margin was only six points, UConn seemed to be in control of their destiny for the majority of the game. This has been the case since they needed overtime o take out St. Joe's in the first round of the Tournament. Shabazz Napier, the senior guard from Storrs, has put the team on his back, and his free throws seemed to clinch the game.
The aforementioned, overall number one seed Florida cruised past the previous upset-minded Dayton Flyers. This is nothing new for the Gators, who won it all in 2007 and have been to the Elite Eight for the last three years in a row. Florida's coach, Billy Donovan, has been here before and seems poised – at least mathematically – for a run to the championship.
However, the team that the majority of the nation has rallied around by far is Wisconsin. The Badgers have shown tremendous tenacity and the play of Frank Kaminsky is a big part of their overtime victory against the West Region 1 seed Arizona Wildcats. Although Wisconsin entered the post-season as a 2 seed, most pundits overlooked the team in their predictions of who would be left standing at this time of the year.
The semifinal matches will be played on Saturday night, with both games televised on TBS. The final matchup, for the national championship, will take place on Monday, April 7. If your bracket is busted, take comfort in the knowledge that so is everyone else's and enjoy some quality basketball.
Holly Holm fights tonight
Will it go to the ground?
By Ari LeVaux [ Fri Apr 4 2014 4:54 PM ]
The Holly Holm train is pulling into the Route 66 Casino tonight where the legendary boxer will face her seventh opponent in chain-link cage, as she continues her new MMA career. Holm has been courted by the UFC in recent weeks, though her management supposedly pissed off Dana White, presumably for asking for too much money (though it should be noted that White gets pissed if the wind blows).
The last time Holm fought, I had recommended that you go see her because it may be your last chance to see her fight in Albuquerque, before she gets swept up by the UFC. But this time, it seems like the opposite is true. If Holm continues to circle outside the UFC, she’ll probably be back at the 66 for at least another fight. If she joins the show and signs with the UFC, it might be in time for the June 7 card, headlined by Diego Sanchez vs Ross Pearson.
Such speculation, of course, is dependent on her winning tonight, which is a safe bet. But things will get interesting if the fight goes to the mat, where Holm is much less comfortable and experienced.
Holm may not want to go to the ground, but that’s what the world needs to see—if not this fight, then some other future fight—before she can be taken seriously as a threat to the UFC Bantamweight title held by Ronda Rousey. The champ has won most of her fights by arm bar, and would look to do the same against the Duke City striker. The best thing that could happen for Holly in this fight would be to slam Werner to the mat and submit her, preferably by arm bar. If she does that and calls out Rousey, Dana White would pee, a little bit anyway, in his pants.
But should Holm win, there is another high-profile fight that will be on her more immediate horizon: Christiana “Cyborg” Justino, the only other female MMA fighter outside the UFC who generates a buzz on par with Holm’s. According to her trainer Mike Winkeljohn, they will be trying to make this happen should Holly win.
I'm just saying: if Holly wins, her vs Cyborg on the June 7th card would tear the roof off of Tingly Coliseum, dontcha think?
Several teammates of "The Preacher's Daughter" will be on the card tonight, including Jackson-Winkeljohn products Clint Roberts and Nick Urso, two homegrown beasts you want on your side. Jesse Tafoya of Wink’s Gym, where Holm teaches and trains, is on the preliminary card.
The main card starts at 9 pm, and takes place at the Rt. 66 Casino on I 40. It will also be on AXSTV. The preliminary card starts at 7:30, and can only be witnessed live.
See you there, so look for the drunk guy in the Hawaiian shirt, and come say "hi."
Lobos Win 2014 Mountain West Conference Tournament
Back-to-back-to-back victory earns 7 seed in NCAA tournament
By Michael Sanchez [ Tue Mar 18 2014 1:40 PM ]
Lobos win the Mountain West Conference and earn a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament—wait, what?
Image still from krqe.com
Lobos Keep Winning, Winding Down Regular Season
Win streak now stands at five
By Michael Sanchez [ Tue Mar 4 2014 3:24 PM ]
The University of New Mexico Lobos men's basketball team has had a great month. February, aside from one minor aberration, was a good time for Coach Neal and his squad.
Image via ESPN.com
Super Bowl XLVIII Set
Broncos and Seahawks win division championship games
By Michael Sanchez [ Tue Jan 21 2014 1:11 PM ]
The final four teams in the National Football League have been whittled down to two. The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will meet on Sunday, Feb. 2 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
NBC via ESPN
2014 NFL Playoffs Begin with a Bang
By Michael Sanchez [ Wed Jan 8 2014 2:34 PM ]
A weekend full of winning visitors, almost all of the games coming down to the wire and some spectacular performances.
courtesy of Lobo TV
Lobos Lose in Final Four to Notre Dame
By Michael Sanchez [ Wed Dec 18 2013 5:08 PM ]
Despite their loss to Notre Dame, the Lobos look to come back even stronger in their next season.
Video still courtesy of New Mexico Athletics
Lobos to Face Huskies in Elite Eight
By Michael Sanchez [ Fri Dec 6 2013 4:35 PM ]
The Lobos match up in Seattle against the University of Washington Huskies, where the current head coach is a man well-known in Albuquerque for his role as a former Lobos assistant coach.
Holly Holm fights Friday
and it could be the last time you watch her fight in Burque
By Ari LeVaux [ Thu Dec 5 2013 11:31 AM ]
Sure, it’s a damn shame that the UFC may never do a show in Albuquerque. After all, Duke City has some of the most committed fight fans on earth. On the flipside, we’ve got some of the best fighters as well, with both home-grown talent and fighters hat have immigrated here to train at Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA, as well as some of the other gyms, like FIT NHB. That adds up to local Mixed Martial Arts events stacked with top caliber talent, fighters that may very soon be competing at the sport’s highest level.
Case in point: Friday, Dec. 6, at the Route 66 Casino, the Fresquez Productions’ “Havoc” fight card, featuring Holly Holm vs Angela Hayes at bantamweight (135 lbs). The UFC has already expressed interest in Holm, and UFC president Dana White has acknowledge to being pestered to the point of desperation with questions about when the organization will sign her. Holm is being touted by many fans and media as a potential solution to Ronda Rousey's dominance.
Thus far, no opponent has escaped the first round without tapping to an armbar, much less beaten the UFC champion. Holm, a world champion boxer, and, according to her coach Mike Winkeljohn a “better kickboxer” is a fearsome striker, who has never been taken down or threatened on the ground in five professional MMA fights. But five of her opponent’s six wins are by submission, which means this could finally be the time Holm is tested on the ground. And we have the opportunity to see what happens, live. As soon as Holm gets picked up by the UFC, you might not be able to see her fight in Albuquerque ever again, so take advantage!
Also on the card, flyweight Nick Urso, a Jackson/Winkeljohn product like Holm. SouthWestFightNews notes, “Urso’s combination of speed, technique and natural talent has placed his name front-and-center in the discussion of who is New Mexico’s best fighter not-signed by a major MMA promotion.”
Urso will be fighting Jesus Urbina of Bushido MMA in El Paso. Again, SouthWestFightNews: “Urbina is very tough in all areas of MMA as he can trade punches in and outside of the pocket, he is very good at scrambling in his defensive grappling and he can finish fights when he gets top position on the mat. All of those compliments only accent his respected wrestling game; Urbina in fact has a collegiate wrestling background. “
Another fighter on the card we should be exited to see is Jackson/Winkeljohn welterweight (170 lbs) Clint Roberts, who will fight Eddie Gamboa, also of El Paso’s Bushido MMA. Roberts is a powerful, well-rounded fighter who would likely be making big waves by now if he didn’t keep getting injured. Most recently: a broken hand suffered in his last fight. It the knockout win, he ended up breaking his hand on his opponents’ head.
Many other local prospects will be fighting as well, including Cody East, Chuck Pieritz, Gabriel Benitez, Ricky Esquibel, and Mike Benefiel. The six-bout main card is preceded by a five-fight amateur undercard, which starts at seven. The public is invited to attend the weigh-in on Thursday at 2 pm, at the Route 66 Casino.
Lobos Face George Mason in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament on Sunday
By Michael Sanchez [ Fri Nov 22 2013 4:57 PM ]
UNM plays in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in a home game on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 5pm. Go Lobos!
50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour: Gordon Lightfoot • folk, singer-songwriter at Legends Theater @ Route 66 Casino
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