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NMSU Returns to the NCAA Tournament with 64-55 Win Over UTA

Marvin Menzies is leading NMSU back to the NCAA tournament for the third time in six seasons. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Marvin Menzies inherited a solid team when Reggie Theus bolted Las Cruces for Sacramento in 2007.  Under Menzies, the Aggies secured a third trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons with a 64-55 win over UT Arlington.

Menzies’ teams at NMSU have been traditionally slow starters, but by March they always seem to play their best basketball.  The ‘X-factor’ all season long for the Aggies was 7’5″ freshman Sim Bhullar.  Bhullar came to Las Cruces from Canada with a massive, God-given 7’5″ frame, but his skills and stamina left a lot to be desired.  ‘Big Sim’ averaged less than 25 minutes a game this season, but he has played at least 30 minutes in every game since the Aggies met UTEP on February 23rd.

Bhullar has a hard time keeping up with the runnin’ Aggies, but Menzies knows he must balance the tempo to keep him involved in the offense.  Bhullar logged back to back double doubles en route to being named WAC Tournament MVP.

We all know the NCAA Tournament is all about matchups.  The Aggies will likely be a 13 or 14 seed.  If they draw a fellow up-tempo team, they will struggle to keep up.  If they draw a half court team, ‘Big Sim’ could be the ultimate ‘X-factor’ in an NMSU upset.




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