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The New Mexico State University men’s basketball team meets No. 17 Indiana in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night.
The Aggies are a No. 13 seed (26-9) taking on the fourth-seeded Hoosiers (25-8). The opening round game will be played at the Rose Center in Portland, Ore., and will be televised by CBS.
The Aggies are making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and second in three years.
During the 2011-12 season, NMSU won the 2012 WAC Tournament Championship with a big 82-57 victory over Louisiana Tech March 10 in Las Vegas, Nev.
NMSU has recorded the most wins in a season since the 1992-93 season when it advanced to the NCAA’s Sweet 16.
The Aggies have three players averaging double-figures scoring. Senior Wendell McKines led the way during the season with 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provided 12.0 points per game and senior center Hamidu Rahman adds 10.0 points per game.
The Hoosiers enter the NCAA Tournament with a 25-8 record after a 79-71 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament March 9.
Indiana has four players in double-digits with freshman forward Cody Zeller leading the way with 15.5 points per game. Junior forward Christian Watford and junior guard Jordan Hulls add 12.0 and 11.5 points per contest.
Additionally, sophomore guard Victor Oladipo contributes 10.9 points per game.
This is just the second meeting between the Aggies and Hoosiers in the schools’ history. Indiana won the only other meeting, 74-68, in Bloomington, Ind., in 1961.
With its win over Louisiana Tech, NMSU won its third WAC Tournament Championship in school history and second in three seasons. McKines guided the Aggies with his 20th double-double of the season with 27 points and 14 rebounds on 12-of-16 shooting against Louisiana Tech. Forward Tyrone Watson and guard Daniel Mullings supplied 12 points each.
With a victory over the Hoosiers, the Aggies would face the Wichita State-Virginia Commonwealth in Saturday’s second round.
The Aggies are making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance. They have 10-20 record in the Big Dance, including a Final Four appearance in 1970.