Scouting Auburn: NMSU must defend the three

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It is basically rule No. 1 to have at least one 12-5 upset in your NCAA Tournament bracket because, well, 12-5 upsets happen almost every year in the tournament. In order for New Mexico State, a No. 12 seed, to knock off the fifth seeded Auburn Tigers, the Aggies will have to play some of their best defensive basketball of the season.

“Unfortunately I have watched some film of Auburn,” said NMSU head coach Chris Jans. “I had nightmares about them last night to be honest with you.”

Auburn can shoot the three better than any team in this year’s field of 68. As a team, the Tigers are shooting 37.6% from long distance. They will be led by senior Bryce Brown, who averages 15.8 points per game.

The Aggies, who come into the tournament riding a 19-game winning streak, have not been able to get out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament since 1993. However, last year’s experience of being a No. 12 seed and having high expectations will help this team come tip-off.

“It’s a 40-minute game,” said Jans. “You don’t have to beat them best out of seven, you have to be better for 40-minutes. I do believe the game will unfold the way it will, but it certainly has the potential to be a game where there’s a lot of three-point attempts and a lot of up-and-down play. They certainly want the game to be up-tempo.”

Tip-off on Thursday is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. MDT in Salt Lake City.

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