Diamond Head Classic bracket announced

The New Mexico men’s basketball team must concentrate on their first round opponent, Auburn out of the SEC, in the 2015 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. But the second round promises to give the Lobos an interesting match-up.

 This past Thursday, ESPN Events released the complete bracket for the Diamond Head Classic, which is scheduled for Dec. 22, 23 and 25 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu on the campus of the University of Hawai'i.

UNM will face the Auburn Tigers in the first game of the tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 12:30 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Auburn finished last season 15-20 under first-year head coach Bruce Pearl, who previously coached Tennessee. The Tigers upset Mississipii State, Texas A&M and LSU to earn a spot in the SEC Tournament championship game, where Auburn lost 91-67 to No. 1 Kentucky.

Former WAC and Mountain West members Brigham Young and Lobo-killers Harvard are on UNM’s side of the bracket, which means one of the two will serve as the Lobos’ opponent on the next day.

The Cougars, who now play basketball in the West Coast Conference and left the MWC before the 2011-12 season, went 25-10 last season and finished second in the WCC, making the NCAA First Four as an 11-seed and losing to Mississippi.

The Crimson, who upset the Lobos in the 2013 NCAA Tournament in former Lobos coach Steve Alford’s final game, were co-champions of the Ivy League and defeated Yale in a one-game playoff to make the NCAA Tournament field.

Harvard, the 13-seed, nearly upset No. 4 North Carolina, falling 67-65 in the second round.

The other side of the bracket includes NCAA participants Northern Iowa and Oklahoma as well as Washington State and hosts Hawai’i.

UNI finished the 2014-15 season in March Madness defeating Wyoming 71-54 in the second round before falling to Louisville 66-53 in the third round.

Oklahoma (24-11) defeated Albany and Dayton to make the Sweet Sixteen, where they succumbed 62-58 to Michigan State, which lost to Duke in the National Semifinal.

Washington State (13-18) missed the post-season last year, losing in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Hawai’i finished 22-13, good for fifth place in the Big West last season, losing to UC Irvine 67-58 in the finals of the Big West Tournament.

If the Lobos beat Auburn, they will advance to play either BYU or Harvard on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m. MDT on ESPN U. The Diamond Head Classic championship game is scheduled for Christmas Day at 6:30 p.m. MDT on ESPN2. The third-place game is scheduled for Christmas Day at 4:30 p.m. MDT.

If UNM falls in to the consolation bracket, they would play the loser of BYU-Harvard at 12:30 p.m. MDT on Wednesday, Dec. 23. The fifth-place game and seventh-place games are slated for 11:30 a.m. or  1:30 p.m. MST on either ESPNU or online ESPN3.com.

Inside The Lobos Top Stories