Going into this week’s Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, the New Mexico State Aggies are one of three teams that can legitimately win the whole thing: Those three being NMSU, Louisiana Tech and Denver. And the Aggies could very well be top favorites of the whole bunch.
Of course NMSU just has a physical advantage over most clubs. And while it doesn’t necessarily show up on the offensive end of the court, it most certainly does defensively. Why with players such as Terrel de Rouen, Daniel Mullings, Tyrone Watson, Bandja Sy, Renaldo Dixon and Sim Bhullar (when he can play goalie around the basket) the Aggies are just tough to contend with on that end of the floor.
There’s also NMSU’s history: A team that’s played well in the WAC Tournament under head coach Marvin Menzies.
They’ve won two of the past three league competitions. Menzies' first year with the program, the Aggies advanced to the tournament finals, while his second season saw a young Aggie team take a good Utah State squad down to the wire.
Yes, such experience should count for something, as the Aggies are comfortable playing this time of year and perhaps even relish it. They were the picked pre-season No. 1 in the league, and perhaps it was in anticipation of this. In a sense, they’re built for a three-day tournament in March.
Perhaps the best chance a team has at beating the Aggies is for the Aggies to actually beat themselves — that is, NMSU plays a poor game, while the opposition gets hot at the right time. But if the opposite happens — that being, NMSU plays up to its capabilities for three consecutive days — one would think the Aggies have the top chance at taking home the trophy. Their recent history certainly suggests just that.
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