Sunday, March 11, 2012
Thoughts on Aggies vs. Indiana, and the NCAA Tournament
Considering that New Mexico State is a No. 13 seed in the South Region, and its opponent Indiana is a No. 4 seed, one has to think the Aggies could have done worse in their first-round draw for the NCAA Tournament.
As written in last night's blog post, it's all about matchups here, and — at least initially — it looks like the Aggies do stack up all right against the Hoosiers.
Here's what the Aggies couldn't get in the opening round of the NCAA: a team that could match NMSU's game 5-feet and in towards the basket.
For NMSU, it's about controlling the boards, getting layups and dunks, and getting to the free-throw line. Just think back to the first half against Louisiana Tech in the WAC championship game, when seemingly every NMSU shot came close to the basket, none farther out than 12 feet.
If the Aggies face a team that can take that away, than NMSU has to hit jump shots over the top of the defense — which is a crap shoot.
Again, Indiana seems like a decent fit when considering the variables listed above.
Yes, they have 7-footer Cody Zeller, but the Hoosiers are also a 3-point shooting team, and it does appear the Aggies could hold an edge inside.
That, and Indiana went 7-7 away from home this season, while NMSU was 12-6 away from the Pan American Center.
UNM will also be playing in Portland, meaning their could be a contingency of New Mexico fans in the Rose Garden.
As a No. 13 seed, the Aggies could have drawn an insurmountable opponent in the first round. And Indiana does not appear to be insurmountable.
Again, the Aggies could have done worse in their draw.
For the record, NMSU getting into the NCAA Tournament is a great thing.
I believe that no other sport galvanizes this community more than Aggie basketball. No, not high school football. I really think Aggie basketball can be — and at times still is — the water-cooler sport in Las Cruces.
You can feel a buzz in the air, and it's exciting.
Again, just having the Aggies in the tournament, it's a good thing.
Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg