As part of its preview of the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, SI.com is taking a look at all 68 teams in the field. RPI and SOS data from realtimerpi.com. Adjusted offense and defense are from kenpom.com and measure the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, and the team’s national rank. For more teams, click here.
Record: 26-9, 12-4 in WAC
Adjusted offense / Adjusted defense: 112.1 (41st) / 102.7 (128th)
Impact player: Daniel Mullings: 16.8 PPG, 4.9 RBG, 3.5 APG, 1.9 SPG
The Case For:
Offense is the name of the game for the Aggies, who feature a balanced offense with four players averaging double-figure scoring. Daniel Mullings and company were the WAC’s top-scoring team this season (77.2) and ranked 43rd in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. New Mexico State’s offense is a big reason why it won its games by an average of 10.3 points this year. Moreover, the Aggies head into the tournament having won 12 of their last 14 contests.
Coach Marvin Menzies’ crew could take better care of the basketball. The Aggies’ -1.66 turnover margin ranked next-to-last in the WAC this season. New Mexico State didn’t have much luck against fellow tournament teams during the regular season, either. It split meetings with New Mexico but gave up 18 offensive boards in a loss to eventual 8-seed Gonzaga and shot 1-for-11 on three-pointers in a loss to Western Michigan, an 11-seed. It’s hard to hold the Aggies’ 26-point loss to 1-seed Arizona against them, but their overall track record might not spell a deep tourney run.
SI Prediction: Lose in second round to San Diego StateView complete bracket predictions from SI.com’s panel of experts