On Monday, I asked Kristen what she thought we should do about the Aztec game on Tuesday night since it was scheduled to tip at 8:00 PM, Jackson’s bed time.
You’ve got a streak going. It’s for a championship. And it’s New Mexico. He has a minimum day on Wednesday, he can catch up on sleep.Kristen McLane, Woman of the Year Candidate for 2020
Permission in hand, Jackson and I headed to the game on Tuesday night. But first– we stopped at Starbucks for some caffeine and boxing tips from a security guard.
Seriously, JT and I were shadow boxing while waiting for our drinks and a security guard from the arena stepped in and started offering Jackson advice on different boxing techniques from famous boxers.
It was a reminder of a past fight with New Mexico…
But more to the point, it was the perfect foreshadow of the fight ahead for our beloved Aztecs.
Because the Lobos of New Mexico came into the game ticked off at the Aztecs who handed them their worse home loss in decades just two weeks ago.
And boy was it was a fight from the tip. Almost literally.
Kicking Aztec in the Second Half
The first half was ugly. Lobos bodies were flying everywhere as they desperately tried to fend off the perfect storm. Heading into halftime the game was still very much in doubt. In fact, New Mexico had outplayed us pretty badly. Our guys were frustrated and so were our fans. In the stands there was a noticeable nervousness which lead to a lack of proper enjoyment of the dog acrobats at halftime.
But from the start of the second half it was clear the Aztecs came to destroy. After some initial back and forth Matt Mitchell, the Aztec god of thunder, quite literally took over the game.
In one sequence Mitchell had a thunderous dunk, followed by a defensive rebound, followed by an +1 layup where he made the free throw, followed by yet another defensive rebound. As he came up the floor with the ball I said to my seat mate, “Watch, he’s about to shoot from the Mountain West logo right in front of Dutch.” No sooner had I said that and the shot went up… fortunately for the rafters of Viejas and the protection of the sacred Steve Fisher Court, it clanked off the iron. For if that basket had found the bottom of the net the god of thunder would have ignited an earthquake measured in lives lost throughout the region.
Meanwhile in Section S, Row 15
There’s something about winning a regular season conference championship against the hated Lobos of New Mexico on February 11th, a full three weeks before the end of the regular season.
It was surreal happiness. Confetti, speeches, net cutting ceremony, selfies, and even an appearance by the worst conference executive in all of sports, Craig Thompson.
Our hat tip to Sir Skylar Spencer
No one won more games or cut down more nets for the Aztecs than Skylar Spencer. So last night, in our own way, we honored him by bringing back the net cutting ceremony to The Mesa where he cut down those nets four straight years.
Friends, prepare yourself.