The Mountain West Conference has challenged the Pac 12 for western basketball supremacy the last couple of years. However, their two-time defending champion New Mexico Lobos not only lost their coach to Pac-12 regular season champion UCLA, but it appears they will not even get the $1 million buyout. Just six weeks ago, the Lobos secured a 3-seed in March Madness and Alford signed a 10-year offer sheet. Things went downhill fast.
It was the third time in nine years Alford has taken a team to a 3-seed, including Iowa in 2006 and new Mexico in 2010 and 2013.
A few days later they were stunned by Harvard in the opening round.
UCLA then fired Ben Howland but was unsuccessful in recruiting VCU’s Shaka Smart or Butler’s Brad Stevens. Within two weeks of Alford signing the term sheet, he announced he was leaving New Mexico for UCLA.
According to the Associated Press, on “March 18, Alford signed a term sheet agreeing to a new 10-year contract with New Mexico that included a $1 million buyout. It was to take effect April 1, two days after Alford announced his resignation.”