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Lobos to play Wyoming games at Air Force Academy

Lobo players line up during the National Anthem before a Jan. 6 game against Utah State played in Lubbock, Texas. (Courtesy UNM Athletics)

The final six regular-season games for the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team will be played in Colorado, including two designated home games against the Wyoming Cowboys, which will now be played at the U.S. Air Force Academy outside of Colorado Springs.

The move appears to close the door on the possibility of any men’s game being played in the Pit this season — the first season that has happened since the venue opened in 1966 and the first time in program history that the Lobos fielded a team but did not play at least one game in the state.

The Lobos are scheduled to play Colorado State in Fort Collins for a two-game series Tuesday and Thursday. UNM confirmed to the Journal this weekend it will play that series after calling off last week’s two-game series against San Diego State, saying it didn’t have enough available players due to COVID-19 matters, though there is not a positive COVID-19 case on the roster.

The Lobos were then scheduled to host Wyoming on Feb. 17 and 19 and play at Air Force on Feb. 22 and 24. Due to New Mexico’s public health order, college games are not allowed in the state this season.

Deputy Athletic Director David Williams confirmed that while details are still in the works, the three schools involved have verbally agreed to stage UNM’s games against Wyoming in Clune Arena, though the Mountain West has not finalized the agreement.

UNM would stay in Colorado between the two series, which are scheduled just three days apart.

The Mountain West men’s tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., is scheduled for March 10-13 with the first week of March open for games that may need to be made up due to COVID matters. While it’s possible the SDSU/UNM games could be made up then — games that were designated as UNM home games — the Aztecs also have make up games with UNLV that were already tentatively scheduled to be played that week.

UNM has played designated home games this season in the following:

Houston: UNM hosted non-Division I teams Our Lady of the Lake and LeTourneau at Tudor Fieldhouse on the campus of Rice University
Lubbock, Texas: UNM hosted Nevada for two games and Utah State for two games at the Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University
St. George, Utah: UNM hosted San Jose State for two games in Burns Arena on the campus of Dixie State University
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.: UNM will host Wyoming for two games in Clune Arena outside of Colorado Springs

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