Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, 47 12-seeds have upset 5-seeds in the first round. New Mexico State is looking to become one of them when they play Auburn on Thursday.
They’re 30-4 and have won 19 games in a row, but on the eve of the NCAA Tournament, New Mexico State isn’t buying into the legend of the 12-5 upset.
We don’t even talk about that. We don’t talk about seeds, in my experience, you can throw that out the window,” head coach Chris Jans said. “The lower or higher seed doesn’t get an advantage or disadvantage on the scoreboard. You still have to play the game.”
“We’re just looking forward to getting a W to be honest because we work hard,” junior guard Terrell Brown said. “We earned this, we earned this spot, we don’t see ourselves as a 12-seed. We see us as being in March Madness where we can compete with the best.”
“It doesn’t matter about the seeding, it just seems like if you go out there and compete and play your heart out you’ll get the desired goal that you want to,” junior forward C.J. Bobbitt said.
It’s cut and dry: with the success they’ve had this year, the Aggies are confident entering round one and they’ve got Auburn’s attention.
“They’re good. They run great stuff, his kids play hard. They’ll be a tough out,” said Auburn coach Bruce Pearl.”
“I’m very confident as well. Hopefully, we feed off each other a little bit. I think they’ll compete and be ready to play and we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Jans said.
“Probably we’re one of the best teams that New Mexico has ever had and we have the possibility of doing some big things here,” junior center Ivan Aurrecoechea said.