5 Reasons Why New Mexico State Can Make A Run To the Sweet 16

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The Slipper Fits the New Mexico State Aggies

The Slipper Fits The New Mexico State Aggies
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New Mexico State Aggies are ready for a run into the Sweet 16. The Aggies received the 13th seed in the Midwest and come into the tournament with a Western Athletic Conference tournament championship.

State hoops is on a high with both the Aggies and the New Mexico Lobos receiving bids into the dance. The Lobos are the 3rd seed in the West and are favored to make the round of sixteen.

The Aggies have built their program slowly. This season they finished with a 24-10 record with a 14-4 conference record. They gained the third seed in the WAC tournament and went all the way to the finals beating Texas-Arlington to lift the trophy. They lucked out as top seeds Louisiana Tech and Denver were both upset in earlier rounds.

In 2012, the Aggies lost their second round tournament game to the Indiana Hoosiers who themselves lost to the eventual champions the Kentucky Wildcats in the regional semifinals.

The team comes in on a high and with experience from last year’s tournament. They play their first game in San Jose, California which makes it easier for home fans to attend. This is the best year for the Aggies to make a deep run in the tournament. Two wins takes the team into the Sweet 16 which seems easier said than done, but the schedule is lined up for the team to make a splash in the Midwest region.

The following are five reasons why New Mexico State can make a run into the Sweet 16.

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Head Coach Marvin Menzies

Head Coach Marvin Menzies
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New Mexico State Aggies are lead by head coach Marvin Menzies. Menzies is a Rick Pitino protege and worked under him at Louisville. Menzies' ability to bring together all types of players from across the globe has helped the Aggies climb up the ladder in the WAC. His experience in last year's tourney and with Pitino is invaluable in preparting his team for this year's run.

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The Emotional 4th Seeded Saint Louis Billikens

The Emotional 4th Seeded Saint Louis Billikens
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The New Mexico State Aggies face the 4th seeded Saint Louis Billikens. The Billikens are coming in by winning the Atlantic 10 conference tournament. They had a difficult start to their season enduring some bad losses and the death of the long time coach Rick Majerus. They have been playing on emotion the entire year.

Emotion can only take you so far and the first game of the tournament will be the end of the Billikens' year. The Aggies will take advantage and win the first game of the tournament moving on to the third round.

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The Overrated 5th Seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Overrated 5th Seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are coming into the tournament as an at large bid. The team didn't have much expectations this season and really only got this high of a seed due to the conference they play in, the Big 12. The team is overrated and the New Mexico State Aggies will have a good shot at upsetting the Cowboys.

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The 7'5" Sim Bhullar

The 7'5" Sim Bhullar
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sim Bhullar comes in as the MVP of the WAC tournament. The NCAA Tournament has always been a setting for players to emerge. Bhullar has the chance to do just that. His play wiill lead the New Mexico State Aggies, but will also up his NBA draft status. No other big man in the nation can look eye to eye to Bhullar and he will be the defining player for the Aggies.

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The Canadian Connection And Foreign Legion

The Canadian Connection And Foreign Legion
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Marvin Menzies and the New Mexico State Aggies have become one of the best recruiting programs in the nation. They never get a shot at attracting the home state talent or any studs from California or Texas so they have looked elsewhere.

Elsewhere has been France and Canada. Sim Bhullar, Daniel Mullings and Tyrone Watson are from the Toronto area. Bandja Sy and Remi Barry came over from France. All five have contributed to the Aggies run into the tournament. They will do the same as the Aggies make a run into the Sweet 16. The prospect flow from Canada will continue next season as Sim's younger brother Tanveer, a 7'2'' big man, is close to signing.

Shahab Khan is a Basketball and NCAA Columnist with Rant Sports

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