DENVER – The New Mexico State men’s basketball team will again open the season as defending WAC Regular Season Champions. Wednesday, it found out what the road to a seventh title will look like after the league office released the official 2022-23 WAC men’s basketball schedule on Wednesday afternoon.

This season, the Aggies will embark on their final year in the Western Athletic Conference after Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced NM State would be joining Conference USA beginning July 1, 2023.

This year’s schedule features 18 total league games (nine home, nine away) for the second straight season; however, the Aggies will see some fresh faces as both Southern Utah and UT Arlington make their transition into the WAC this season while Chicago State and Lamar no longer reside in the conference.

A new fold to this year’s WAC schedule will be the inclusion of Wednesday contests to accommodate for travel adversity teams might face during the year.

As for the NM State women, following a non-conference slate that is set to be released later this week, the Aggies will open WAC play on the road at UT Rio Grande Valley on Dec. 29 before making the trip back to Las Cruces for a home meeting versus Southern Utah on New Year’s Eve.

The WAC will also be adopting its new Résumé Seeding System this season to determine how teams are seeded at this year’s WAC Tournament. While conference play will maintain great importance, the algorithm will rate performance against all teams faced in the regular season, not just conference play.

Greg Heiar will begin his first year as a head coach in the WAC with a matchup against Southern Utah on Thursday, Dec. 29, in the Pan American Center. The Aggies will remain on Lou Henson Court for their second league matchup as Sam Houston ventures to Las Cruces on New Year’s Eve.

NM State’s first WAC road test of the season will come in Nacogdoches, Texas, where they will stand across from Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday, Jan. 4. The Aggies will then return home to put a bow on the second week of conference play as they host California Baptist on Saturday, Jan. 7.

A trip to the Pacific Northwest will be next on the docket for the Crimson and White as they enter the Redhawk Center on Jan. 12 to clash with Seattle U. Then, for the third straight Saturday, the Aggies will find themselves at home as they welcome UT Arlington on Jan. 14.

The Aggies are then set to take a tour of the WAC’s trio of Utah schools as they visit Southern Utah on Jan. 19 and Utah Tech on Jan. 21 before visiting Utah Valley on Jan. 28. The duel with the Wolverines will also mark the halfway point of the conference schedule for the Aggies.

A Feb. 2 matchup at home versus Stephen F. Austin is how the Aggies will kick off the second half of the conference schedule. Aggie fans will also have the chance to see NM State in action later that week when Seattle U treks to The City of Crosses for a Jan. 4 tilt.

The Aggies will then gear up for a midweek meeting with Grand Canyon in Phoenix on Thursday, Feb. 9, ahead of a Feb. 11 clash on the road at California Baptist.

Then, a rematch of the 2022 WAC Tournament Championship will be housed within the Pan American Center on Feb. 15 when the Aggies host the Wildcats of Abilene Christian. This will mark the start of a three-game home stretch for Heiar and the Aggies as UT Rio Grande Valley (Feb. 18) and Grand Canyon (Feb. 22) visit Las Cruces.

After a six-day hiatus, NM State will return to action by repaying a visit to Abilene Christian on Wednesday, March 1. The Aggies will then conclude the WAC regular season with a road matchup against Tarleton on Friday, March 3.

Upon conclusion of the regular season slate, WAC fans will turn their attention to Las Vegas, Nev., where the conference will host the WAC Tournament on March 6-11. Early week tournament games will be played in Michelob Ultra Arena before the chase for a WAC title moves to the Orleans Arena.

This will be the eighth time in program history that the Aggies will see SUU, however, it will be the first time that the two will square off as conference foes after the Thunderbirds joined the WAC during the offseason.

Week two of WAC play will also start away from the Pan American Center as the Aggies head to Orem, Utah, for a contest against Utah Valley on Wednesday, Jan. 4. NM State then returns home for the ensuing three games, beginning with a matchup against Tarleton on Jan. 7.

The home stretch continues with a Thursday night meeting against Sam Houston on Jan. 12 before playing host to Utah Tech on Jan. 14.

Head Coach Jody Adams and company will then head west during the fourth week of WAC play as they take on Grand Canyon in Phoenix on Jan. 19 ahead of a matchup with Seattle U in the Pacific Northwest on Jan. 21.

A home tilt versus Abilene Christian on Jan. 26 will get the Aggies to the midway point of the season with nine games under their belt and nine left on the schedule.

The next challenge for the Aggies comes on the road at California Baptist on Thursday, Feb. 2. Following its matchup in Riverside, Calif., NM State returns to the Land of Enchantment for a home meeting with Grand Canyon on Feb. 4.

Utah will be the site of the Aggies’ next two games as they are scheduled to face Southern Utah on Feb. 8 in Cedar City, Utah, then Utah Tech on Feb. 11 in St. George, Utah.

The Aggies are then back in front of Aggie Nation for one final homestand as they host Seattle U on Feb. 16, California Baptist on Feb. 18 and UT Arlington on Feb. 23.

NM State then wraps up its season with a road trip to Texas to take on Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 28 before traveling to Huntsville, Texas, for the season finale at Sam Houston.

Upon conclusion of the regular season slate, WAC fans will turn their attention to Las Vegas, Nev., where the conference will host the WAC Tournament on March 6-11. Early week tournament games will be played in Michelob Ultra Arena before the chase for a WAC title moves to the Orleans Arena.