Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team is officially dancing for the first time in 27 years as the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champions were selected by the NCAA Tournament Committee as a 16th seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face the No. 1 seed Maryland Terrapins in the Spokane Region.
The Aggies (22-7, 13-1 WAC) meet Maryland (30-2, 18-0 Big 10) in College Park, Md., on Saturday, Mar. 21, beginning at 10:30 a.m. (MDT) inside the XFINITY Center. If NM State should pull the upset they will play on Monday at the XFINITY Center against the winner of the Princeton-Green Bay matchup.
The Aggies are coming off a 70-52 trampling of Texas-Pan American in the WAC Tournament championship game for their first-ever tournament championship. NM State also won the regular-season WAC crown after going 13-1 in conference play, its first outright conference title in 20 years.
Maryland, meanwhile, is ranked fourth in the country by the AP Poll and third by the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Terps went 30-2 on the season and are currently on a 24-game winning streak.
After 37 years in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Maryland moved to the Big Ten Conference this season and took the conference by storm, finishing with a perfect 18-0 record in conference play and winning the Big Ten Tournament.
The Terps celebrated their final season in the ACC last year by reaching the Final Four.
The Aggies have made two previous appearances in the NCAA Tournament, back-to-back in 1987 and 1988. Both years NM State fell in the first round at the hands of Washington, meaning the Aggies will be seeking their first-ever NCAA Tournament win.
NM State also participated in the WNIT Tournament in 1994, where it conquered its only postseason win in program history, an 83-63 win over Gonzaga. The Aggies also made the WNIT in 2010, the last time the team went to the postseason, losing to Arizona State in Tempe 84-61.
One note of interest, the Aggies will play in College Park, Md., site of the 1970 Men’s Final Four where the Aggie men were participants.
Saturday’s game will air live on ESPN2 and also on local radio on both The Ticket AM 570 and 98.7 FM with Adam Young on the call.