Must-win. That's the phrase of the day for the New Mexico State basketball teams (both men and women). While tournament berths are not at stake, tournament seeding and byes are. The women must win out to avoid having to win four games in four days to win the WAC title. For the men, they can still lose a game and finish in second but it's a little complicated and it depends on who they lose two and who they might end up tied for second with.
The men were handed a gift on Thursday night when Idaho defeated Nevada. Win out and the Aggies are the 2-seed, earn a double-bye and are just 80 minutes away from a second consecutive trip to the Big Dance.
Lose and things become a little more dicey needing two straight wins to close out the season to earn a 2-seed as they're battling three teams with six conference losses: Boise State (currently the 3rd place team, needs to win out and have New Mexico State lose to Nevada), Idaho (the Vandals would need to win out and have the Aggies lose twice and Boise State lose to Nevada) and Nevada (needs to win out and have Idaho lose to Utah State tonight).
The Aggies face Hawai'i tonight at 10:00 p.m. (MT). The game can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com.
The Aggies must contain UH sharpshooter Zane Johnson and match the intensity of Bill Amis and Jeremiah Ostrowski. The Aggies have come out flat in several of their games this season, something that puzzles us and no doubt is driving head coach Marvin Menzies crazy.
On a side note, at 14-14 and three games left in the regular season and hopefully needing only wins in the WAC tournament, an NCAA bid would be the only chance for the Aggies to reach 20 wins this season. In fact, Utah State could end up being the only team in the league to win 20 games this season. The WAC has not failed to produce two 20-win teams in the same season since the 1982-1983 season when no WAC teams reached the 20-win plateau (UTEP finished with 19 wins and SDSU and Utah finished with 18). That's a span of almost 30 seasons in which the league has had at least two 20-game winners (an in most cases three, four and five teams with at least 20 wins).
Our best wishes go out to Aggie football player Mike Yocius who according to Joe Stevenson of the Northwest Herald, collapsed a couple of weeks ago while participating in the Aggies' offseason workout program. Yocius had a fever of 107 degrees and his kidneys and liver have shut down.
Yocius' grandfather gave the newspaper an update on Mike's condition stating:
"Mike's liver numbers are improving. The kidneys have not shown any improvement, and he is on dialysis. The kidney doctor feels that once his liver is improved, the kidneys will start. Mike sleeps a good deal of the day. His mom and dad have been with him since Feb. 17. They moved him out of intensive care and into a room."
On to today's links...
Aggie Men's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs about the luck of the Aggies.
Jason Groves also writes that the Aggies are in must-win mode.
The Sports Network previews tonight's game.
Jeff Portnoy of the Honolulu Star Advertiser notes that UH has clinched a spot in the WAC tournament.
Dayton Morinaga of the Warrior Insider shows off the new shoes the Warriors will wear tonight (H/T Parsing The WAC).
Brian McInnis of the Honolulu Star Advertiser previews tonight's game.
Aggie Women's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News writes that the Aggies are looking for a win this afternoon.
The NM State athletic website previews tonight's game.
Jim Krajewski of the Reno Gazette-Journal previews today's game.
Aggie Track and Field
The NM State athletic website recaps day two of the indoor championships.
Aggie Swimming and Diving
The NM State athletic website recaps the Aggies' two individual titles on day three of the WAC swimming and diving championships.
The NM State athletic website recaps the Aggies' Friday sweep.
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