Wake Forest meets New Mexico on December 22nd. This game won’t make any of the pre-season must-see lists but it should.

For one thing, most of the marquee games end up on neutral courts. This game will be at The Pit and almost surely will be a sell-out.

Wake will get first place votes in the preseason polls, while the Lobos probably won’t get any votes. But the gap between the two is not as much as it seems. Last year, Wake – at home – failed to put away UNM in winning 70-61. This was a year in which New Mexico didn’t win a single game away from Albuquerque.

New Mexico should improve a lot on their 14-14 record from last season. The teams that finished ahead of them in the Mountain West have either changed coaches or lost a top 10 NBA draft pick. The Lobos return 4 starters, and they replace Javin Tindall with Mark Walters, who has started 31 games in his career. Danny Granger should be the preseason pick for MWC player of the year.

There’s finally the potential for Ritchie McKay to win over the Lobo faithful. He could take a huge step towards doing that on December 22nd.