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New Mexico Writer Quits after NCAA Loss

  • Maybe if we lose enough Kirk Bohls might resign..................

    When our team loses, there's heartbreak. Frustration. Agony. But we almost always come back, again and again, season after season.

    But sometimes the pain is just too much. Sometimes, we just can't take any more. Such is the case for Dennis Latta, freelance writer for's Loboland and a 33-year veteran of the New Mexico beat. After Thursday night's stunning and, yes, humiliating loss to Harvard, Latta had had enough.

    In his farewell column, Latta fires a shot across the bow — or, really, through the hull — of the New Mexico program: "I really thought that the University of New Mexico finally had a men's basketball team that earned the loyalty of their fans." He lists all the virtues of this year's New Mexico team — "real potential," accomplishments in both the regular season and the Mountain West Conference, strong players across the board — but then he undercuts each one of those plaudits with "I was wrong."

    [Photo gallery: Best photos of the NCAA tournament]

    And then he drops the hammer:

    But I won't be wrong again. It was a lot easier to take when expectations were lower. Losing was acceptable because UNM had almost always lost when it really counted. You didn't have visions of greatness, only to have them dashed. After the pitiful performance UNM put up against a team that doesn't even offer scholarships, I've given up. Having all five starters back next season means nothing on a team that can just disappear like that. I'd be back to wondering when it would collapse, have a terrible game and lose to an inferior team again.

    No, I've had it. I've been to my last Lobo basketball game after covering the team for much of the last 33 years.

    Good-bye Lobo basketball.

    You can see Latta's frustrations. You put in over three decades with a team, you expect some kind of payoff somewhere down the line, right? And hey, perhaps Harvard could use someone to cover their next games. (Sorry, Dennis.)

    NCAA Tournament video from Yahoo! Sports

    This post was edited by austinr 16 months ago

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • Given the tenor of his writing over the years, it's hard to imagine Bohls taking personal affront rather than pleasure in Horn losses. Whether he is a fan who tends to criticize more than he tends to praise (hmm, sounds like some of us, including me, doesn't it?) or whether he is one with sympathies totally at odds with UT-dom, I leave to his readers to decide.

    I tend to think his sympathies are not with the fanbase, but maybe that's just me. Then again, maybe that's the majority of the fanbase.

    But that was an asinine commentary by Latta that essentially boiled down to "My team lost, so I won't root for it again." What a dick. If he feels that way, he should just leave, but his angst is not news or op-ed worthy.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by bierce 16 months ago

  • The entire article can be found here on the NM Rivals site. It isn't for subscribers only.

  • What an ass.
    The tournament is crazy fun, but it's not a good or fair way to choose a national champion.
    It's single elimination. Sometimes good teams have a bad day against an inferior opponent that's playing lights out. In the regular season it's just one loss but in the tournament it's huge.
    Coach K, Bill Self, etc have all lost to lousy teams in the first round.
    You write about New Mexico, dude. Get over yourself. Were you expecting annual Final Four runs?

  • Yes, making teams beat their competition and advance to the finals of a tournament is certainly a stupid way to let teams that don't play each other or don't play similar schedules in the regular season decide a champion.

    Why can't you realize the point of a championship tournament isn't necessarily to anoint the 'best team?" It is to honor the team that succeeds in the tournament. Then your spoutings about the tournament not being fair will be revealed to be the utter nonsense that they are.

    This post was edited by bierce 16 months ago

  • We are taking it hard out here.

  • Wow, that dude is a loser. He got toasted on his own board and on twitter.

  • Whoops, double post.

    This post was edited by UTK66 16 months ago

  • I enjoy your posts for the most part, but your "everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot" shtick is getting old.

    For the record, my opinion is that you could have a smaller, multi-conference double elimination tourney that would be less entertaining and more fair. All major and mid-major champions would get a bid.

    There's no reason you need 72 teams. I'd set a limit of no more than 3 teams per conference -- why should a 4th place team, much less a 9th place team, play for a national championship!

    I haven't really scoped it out fully, but to keep the size reasonable (16 to 32 teams?) I'd have the really minor leagues have a play in tourney for one or two slots.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by JerseyBornHorn 16 months ago

  • +1,456,459

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • I don't think I would object to shrinking the size of the tournament, but that doesn't make the present tournament any less fair to the participants.

    The problem with shrinking the tournament is that you either have to jettison half the conferences or jettison all the at large bids. There are 31 conferences, after all.

  • On further reflection I'd do the basketball post-season similar to baseball but with 32 teams and without super regionals.

    Eight four-team brackets, double elimination.

    Then an eight team double elimination tournament.

    Major and mid-major champions would be invited and at large teams would be limited to an additional two per conference.

    A handful of slots would be held for minor conferences, perhaps filled with a series of play-in games.

    It would still be broadly representative and decide the champion on the court, but allow great teams a little more margin for error.

    Utter nonsense?

  • A couple of points:

    -the writer is an illustration (IMHO) of what is wrong with journalism today for sports writers and writers who cover politics. There is little objectivity because the journalist become lazy, are homers who do little if any investigative journalism.

    -some of our self-appointed "experts" were wishing the Horns would hire Steve Alford as the next coach at Texas. Sometimes the grass is not always greener.

    -the Lobo's are the states team (almost like a pro team) With the support and attention New Mexico receives it would seem to be a really good job.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by austinr 16 months ago

    "Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"

  • Not utter nonsense, but my first comment was directed to the notion that the present tournament is somehow unfair for putting everyone in a field and making them win 6 straight games to get the championship. Now, I will apologize for the rather over the top nature of my first response, since I needn't have gotten so curmudgeony. I should save that for AARP years, which aren't here yet. However, the notion that the tournament might not be "fair" because New Mexico just lost to a 14 seed is kind of odd to me.

    Furthermore, I don't see how you somehow create fairness where there was none by having a double elimination tournament with some arbitrary determinations of who qualifies and by what method. All you have done is change the way in which the field is determined and how the prize is awarded. You might get more matchups you desire in the finals, but why is it "fair" for a system to give everyone a second chance after losing the first time? Why shouldn't the system then give each team a third chance? Or require round-robin play among the field to determine the victor?

    You will also have some problems with scheduling. An eight team double elimination could take 7 days of games to complete if the eventual survivor of the loser's bracket beats the final undefeated team. This being basketball, it isn't a very good idea to make teams play on 7 straight days (or even 2, in my opinion), if you want to watch them play at peak levels of performance. So a day off between games, you are talking about a round of play that will last two full weeks. Is there any NCAA sport in which athletes are kept away from campuses for that period of time? (Yes, I know, it's business, not academics that drives college athletics, but I have a hard time seeing the university presidents are going to agree to that kind of interruption of an academic schedule.)

    Then how do you determine which conferences do and don't get bids? Why are the minor conference required to play in games? If the idea is to let the better teams prove themselves with more chances, why not make it 8 teams in each of 8 regionals with double elimination formats?

    Finally, why should we allow "great teams" more margin for error? Getting back to my original point, why should the tournament to be designed to let the best team win? One of the biggest thrills in sports for the spectator is the upset. The biggest thrill in sports for participants is winning a game you weren't expected to win. Why should we not allow the teams that win that upset to continue on to the prize instead of telling them we don't think they really deserve it and have to give the other team a second chance?

    UConn-Butler was a shitty game. NC State-Houston, Villanova-Georgetown, Kansas-Oklahoma were not. I'd say those were three of the best games ever in NCAA tournament finals history.

    This post was edited by bierce 16 months ago