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Lobos face Ivy League champs

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Staff and wire reports

SALT LAKE CITY — New Mexico earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA West Region after winning the tough Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament titles.

The Lobos (29-5) will face No. 14 seed Harvard (19-9), the Ivy League champions, on Thursday in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is 7:50 p.m. Mountain time.

Behind co-stars Kendall Williams and Tony Snell, this is the best team the Lobos have had since Norm Ellenberger’s teams in the late 1970s.

Coach Steve Alford’s team finally feels it can make a deep run in the NCAA tournament after losing 59-56 to Louisville in the third round last season.

All season, Snell and Williams took turns starring for the Lobos, who were joined by Mountain West members Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV in the NCAA tournament.

While the Lobos are in a region with Gonzaga — which finished the season ranked No. 1 in the nation — some national pundits have UNM going to the Final Four instead of the Zags or Ohio State. Among them are hoops commentators Seth Davis, Doug Gottlieb and Kevin Blackistone, who made his call on Monday’s “Around the Horn” on ESPN.