- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico woke up Sunday to warnings from police to stay off the roads due to icy conditions. But the word from the airport was that flights were expected to leave later in the day.
The warnings from the authorities were relaxed as the weather improved throughout the day. The snow tapered from what was a record storm for the Duke city, dumping nearly a foot of snow in an area that isn't used to experiencing this kind of snowfall, let alone the number of plows to clear it.
So, armed with that information, New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay and the Lobos boarded a Sunday afternoon Southwest Airlines flight to Lubbock to make it in time for Monday's game (ESPN2, noon ET) with Texas Tech as Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight goes for a record 880th victory.
Roads remain dangerous in parts of the state, and that's the reason McKay didn't want to bus his team to Lubbock.
Texas Tech missed out on its first chance to get Knight the record, losing 74-66 to UNLV on Thursday night at the United Spirit Arena.
"I'm ready to go play," McKay said.
Leading scorer J.R. Giddens didn't practice Saturday night due to a sprained left ankle, but he is expected to play against the Red Raiders.
"We're expecting the environment to be ridiculous and for them to play well because they didn't against UNLV," McKay said. "We've got to be aggressive on the offensive end. We can't play not to lose. It's a national stage and we're ready for it."
The Lobos come into the game at 11-3, with its best win coming before Christmas over then No. 8 Wichita State in Las Vegas.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com
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