Saturday, March 16, 2013

The championship game preview

So the battle for the WAC championship is between New Mexico State and Texas Arlington. Game time is tonight at 8 p.m. and will be shown on ESPNU.

On December 29 at home, the Mavericks took down the Aggies 68-47, holding the Las Cruces crew to 33% shooting. Daniel Mullings scored 21 poins for NMSU but Bandja Sy went 1-6 and Tyrone Watson 1-7. 

In Las Cruces on March 9, New Mexico State won 69-66, shooting 46% as a team to 38% for Texas Arlington. Sy led with both 19 points and nine rebounds that night and Watson was out with his ankle injury. Coach Marvin Menzies' bunch went to the foul line 35 times, making 25.

These teams surprisingly do seem even even though the Aggies won three more/the Mavericks had three more losses in conference play. 'Surprisingly' is used because it's New Mexico State with the most lauded players -- WAC First, Second and Third Team player honorees versus a single Third Teamer.

One possible key to watch for: can Watson go in this one?

There is usually never a single element that the game is decided upon but it looks like New Mexico State can put up the greater number of points IF both teams are playing equal defensively. NMSU shot 47% in league play to 41% for the Mavericks while allowing opponents to make 41% of attempts to Texas Arlington's league-leading 39%.

Jason Groves looks at the Arlington-ites.


Kyle Goon reports that Utah State is likely done for the season in order to give the wounded some rest and time for earlier surgeries.

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