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UNM finalizes nonconference men’s basketball schedule

The University of New Mexico put the finishing touches on its 13-game non-conference men’s basketball schedule on Wednesday.

While details on 12 of the games had been previously released and reported, the Lobos recently finalized the contract on a Dec. 22 home game with Prairie View A&M of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, giving UNM 17 regular-season home games (nine in Mountain West play, eight in the non-conference).

The highlights of the 2017-18 schedule include the return of Arizona to the Pit for the first time in nearly 20 years, road games at regional opponents UTEP and Colorado, the annual home-and-home series with New Mexico State and participation in the four-game Emerald Coast Classic, which features two games in the Pit and two in Niceville, Fla., against TCU (Nov. 24) and either Maryland or St. Bonaventure (Nov. 25).

It has not yet been decided if the Lobos will play any exhibition games, though first-year Lobos head coach Paul Weir has said he prefers to play at least one closed-to-the-public scrimmage in place of an exhibition game. The NCAA allows two preseason events against other schools — either exhibition games or closed scrimmages.

Of the 12 Division I opponents on UNM’s schedule (Northern New Mexico is an NAIA school), five finished in the top 100 in RPI last season and six in the KenPom top 100. Maryland and St. Bonaventure were in the top 100 of each rating system.

In terms of preseason analytics, the worst two teams on the schedule appear to be Prairie View A&M (306 RPI/313 KenPom) and Tennessee Tech (274 RPI/257 KenPom).

The Lobos break in the newly named Dreamstyle Arena on Nov. 11 with Northern New Mexico to start the regular season.

UNM said renewal information is being sent out this week to season ticket holders from last year. New season tickets have been on sale for the past month.