Monday, May 28, 2012
Aggies receive NCAA Tournament berth
First off, congratulations to the New Mexico State baseball team for receiving an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament — it's always a good accomplishment for an NMSU sports program to get into such a postseason tournament.
It also goes to show what a challenging out-of-conference schedule can do for a team.
The Aggies obviously didn't get into the NCAA Tourney because of their last month of the reason, rather because of their early-season wins over quality programs, which established an unshakable RPI and solidified their overall body of work.
They took three of four from Wake Forest to begin the year; took three of four from the University of New Mexico during the year; played Rice tough, as well as Baylor; won games against Minnesota and Texas Tech; and swept Sacred Heart and split with Kent State — two teams that also made the NCAA Tournament field.
Yes, NMSU tailed off badly late in the season — although their RPI didn't — which made them a bubble team — or were they?
I believe they were, although they'll be the No. 2 seed in their Regional in Tucson — Arizona is No. 1, Louisville is No. 3 and Missouri is No. 4.
This will not be an easy road for NMSU.
Arizona and Louisville both won their regular-season conference championships, while Missouri won their conference-tournament championship.
In other words, these are good teams, and the Aggies will have to shake their late-season slide.
An odd year: That it was in the world of Aggie sports.
To think NMSU went to NCAA Tournaments in men's basketball and baseball, and are still in limbo in terms of their future conference?
And it's not just that. Football was improved this year too — really, the only two sports that were very down were women's basketball and softball.
We've said it before, conferences are looking for markets, football success and overall financial investments in the athletics department. You can't tell me that NMSU's football history isn't playing a factor, and yes, the Aggies just haven't developed and produced enough resources — in other words, money — to be attractive at this point. I think if both of those areas were solidified, in many respects the market would take care of itself.
I'll also say this though — overall the Aggies have a good group of coaches. In short, they get more with less, as seen this year.
A link: Former Aggie forward Wendell McKines' workout with the Golden State Warriors went “Wenderful” — click here for more.
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