Undefeated Las Cruces snubbed of top seed in NMAA State Tournament

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Despite an undefeated 28-0 record in the regular season, and a top-ranking throughout most of the year, the Las Cruces boys were not the top seed in New Mexico’s Class 5A boys basketball State Tournament bracket released Sunday.

Instead, the New Mexico Activities Association pegged Volcano Vista (21-4) as the top seed in the tournament, which begins this weekend. The Bulldawgs and Hawks had similar resumes, each winning nine games this season against teams that qualified for the state tournament. The only difference was LCHS’s undefeated record.

“We understand that we don’t get a lot of respect down here, and that’s cool. We’re cool with that.” Bulldawgs head coach William Benjamin said on Friday after Las Cruces clinched the District 3-5A championship. “We still have to go out and play. All of our 28 wins aren’t against teams from Las Cruces. We went up to Albuquerque and won some games, too. So we’re good to go; we’ll see what happens.”

2-seeded Las Cruces will face 15-seed Oñate in the first round of the state tournament next weekend in a rematch of the District 3 title game. Other Borderland teams to make the 5A state tournament were 14-seed Gadsden, which will face 3-seed Rio Rancho in round one. In Class 2A, Mesilla Valley is the 7-seed and will play 10-seed Rehoboth in round one.

On the girls side of Class 5A, district 3 champion Mayfield received the 6-seed, and will get 11-seed Sandia. 13-seed Centennial will square off with 4-seed Carlsbad and 14-seed Oñate will play 3-seed West Mesa.

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