Selection Sunday, teams New Mexico faced

Isabel Gonzalez

It’s Selection Sunday and the official 2019 NCAA bracket is out. While the New Mexico Lobos did not make it in, they faced a couple of teams that are competing in the Tournament.

  • The Mountain West Conference is sending two teams dancing: Nevada and Utah State.

The Nevada Wolf Pack opened the season undefeated (14-0) until the Lobos held the team to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and blew them out 85-58. The Wolf Pack got revenge by beating the Lobos 91-62 a month later. Nevada was ranked as high as No. 5 this season — the highest ranking in the program’s history. Their current 29-4 overall record ties the school’s record for wins in a season.
Nevada took a piece of the Mountain West regular-season title along with Utah State by going 15-3 in conference play.
Utah State won the MW Tournament in Las Vegas after taking down last year’s champions, the San Diego State Aztecs. Utah State was ahead 34-32 at halftime. Until then, the competition was tight. Things changed when the Aggies went on a 13-0 run in the first four minutes of the second period.

The Utah State Aggies have surprised people this season as they were predicted to finish ninth during preseason. Head coach Craig Smith had high expectations for the program. A bold promise of getting the team to the top of the conference was fulfilled and Smith earned the MW Coach of the Year honor.

  • The NMSU Aggies, a no. 12 seed, made it into the Tournament after winning the Western Athletic Conference. 

The Lobos’ in-state rivals have won 19 games in a row and will be looking for the 20th win as they take on no. 5 seed Auburn (winner of the Southeastern Conference) for the First Round. Last year, the Aggies were also a no. 12 seed. They left after losing to the Clemson Tigers in their opener.

  • The Lobos beat Bradley 85-75 Dec. 1 during the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge.

The Braves are a No. 15 seed taking on No. 2 seed Michigan State during the First Round. Bradley started conference play going 0-5, but claimed its first Valley title in 31 years after a comeback victory of 57-54 against Northern Iowa on Sunday.

  • New Mexico defeated Iona 90-83 at the Pit in November.

As a no. 16 seed, the Gaels will face a tough first round challenge against no. 1 seed North Carolina. Facing a blue blood early in the Tournament is nothing new for them. Last year, Iona had to face Duke in the first round and fell 89-67.
The Gaels are riding a 10-game winning streak. They won both the regular season and postseason MAAC titles. This is their fourth straight trip to the Big Dance.

  • The Saint Mary’s Gaels faced New Mexico at Staples Center in December. 

The Gaels came out victorious 85-60 in Los Angeles. This will be Saint Mary’s 10th appearance in the national tournament. The team, no. 11 seed, will meet with the defending champion Villanova, no. 6.