As the team atop the Western Athletic Conference during the regular season, New Mexico State University was pegged as earning an automatic bid by winning the WAC Tournament.
And that’s just what the Aggies did. NMSU finished 23-10 overall and 13-1 in the WAC – losing only to Seattle University, 58-52.
Here’s what you need to know about New Mexico State:
1. This Is New Mexico State’s 4th Straight NCAA Tournament Berth
Dating all the way back to 1952, New Mexico State has gone dancing 21 times. And this year will mark their fourth straight dance appearance.
The Aggies most successful tournament run was in 1970 when they advanced to the Final Four. The last three seasons, NMSU had one-and-done runs. They fell in their first round of play to Indiana in 2012, Saint Louis in 2013 and San Diego State in overtime in 2014.
2. New Mexico State Has Multiple NBA Retired Jerseys From Former Players
The Aggies are just one of the 34 collegiate teams in the nation to have multiple NBA retired jerseys from former players – Sam Lacey and John Williamson, who both helped lead the team to the 1970 Final Four.
Lacey went on to spend 13 seasons in the NBA and had his No. 44 jersey retired by the Sacramento Kings. And Williamson played in the NBA for nine seasons. His No. 23 jersey was retired by the Brooklyn Nets.
3. The Aggies Have Four Double-Digit Scorers
Pascal Siakam is a 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman from Cameroon. He leads NMSU in rebounds – 7.8 and is second in points – 13.1. Siakam also shoots 57.7 percent from the floor and 76.0 from the charity stripe.
4. Marvin Menzies Is In His 8th Season as Head Coach
Marvin Menzies, 53, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He started his coaching career in 1983 as the assistant of Hamilton High School in L.A. During his time at Hamilton, Menzies received his B.A. in 1987.
Menzies left Hamilton in 1991 to take the assistant coaching job at Santa Monica Community College. He spent the next five years – one as a head coach – at the college before moving on Sacramento State. Menzies was an assistant there for a year before returning to Santa Monica CC in 1997. After two years, he spent the next eight years as an assistant at San Diego State, USC, UNLV and Louisville.
After learning under Cardinals’ coach Rick Pitino, Menzies left in 2007 to take over the New Mexico State program and has been there ever since.
5. New Mexico State University Is Located In Las Cruces, New Mexico
New Mexico State University is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which is just under 50 miles north of El Paso, Texas. Founded in 1888 as the state’s land-grant university, NMSU has an enrollment of just over 17,600.
In 1960, the constitution of New Mexico formally recognized the institution as NMSU. New Mexico State not only offers various educational programs, but also research and public service opportunities. Areas of study include agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences, education, engineering and health and social services.