New Mexico vs. Long Beach State [Game info and open thread]
About New Mexico:
The Lobos (27-6) flew a bit under the radar in the Mountain West surrounded my more heralded teams San Diego State and UNLV. However the Lobos tied with the Aztecs for the regular season Mountain West title, and they also won the conference tournament. New Mexico also beat both San Diego State and UNLV twice this year. They also downed tournament teams Saint Louis and Colorado State. Offensively New Mexico is led by UCLA-transfer Drew Gordon. Gordon averages a double-double with 13.4 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Long Beach State is a popular Cinderella pick for pundits, so it will be interesting to see if that motivates the Lobos.
About Long Beach State:
The 49ers (25-8) have become quite the darling of bracketologists lately. Now the question is whether they can live up to the hype. There is no question that the Beach played a challenging non-conference schedule, facing off against eight tournament teams. However, they only one one of those games (over Xavier). The 49ers dominated the Big West Conference, going 15-1 in it, and they swept through the conference tournament. They are an impressive bunch, lead by two-time Big West Player of the Year, senior Caspar Ware, who averages 17.4 points a game and senior forward T.J. Robinson, who averages a double-double (12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds).
What's at stake?
The winner will play the winner of No. 4 Louisville and No. 13 Davidson.
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