New Mexico State seeks upset of Kansas

Mar 20, 2015 - 2:57 PM Omaha, NE ( - The second-seeded Kansas Jayhawks will get their 2015 NCAA Tournament underway on Friday afternoon, as they take on the 15th-seeded New Mexico State Aggies in the second round of the Midwest Regional at CentureyLink Center Omaha.

The winner of this second-round game will take on either Indiana or Wichita State in third-round action on Sunday.

Bill Self's Jayhawks captured their 11th straight Big 12 regular-season crown and made it all the way to the Big 12 Tournament title game before falling to Iowa State (70-66). Still, at 26-8 overall, Kansas assured itself of its 26th consecutive trip to the Big Dance and 44th overall. The Jayhawks are an impressive 96-42 in the NCAA Tournament all-time and have three national titles to their credit (1952, 1988, 2008).

New Mexico State's tournament resume' isn't quite as illustrious. The Aggies are making their 22nd all-time appearance and fourth straight, after capturing both the regular season and tournament titles in the Western Athletic Conference this season. At 23-10 overall, Marvin Menzies' Aggies come rolling into the postseason with a 13-game win streak in tow, matching the third- longest win streak in school history.

This is the third all-time meeting between these two teams. Kansas has won both matchups, the first in 1965 and the last in 2008. Both meetings took place at the Allen Fieldhouse.

Efficiency play at the offensive end and stingy defense have been staples for New Mexico State this season. The Aggies average a modest 68.5 ppg on a healthy .466 shooting, while holding foes to a mere 59.3 ppg. In addition, NMSU holds a solid +6.8 rebounding margin.

Senior forward Remi Barry leads a quartet of double-digit scoring threats for the Aggies. He is putting up 13.3 ppg and shoots .446 effort from 3-point range. Redshirt freshman Pascal Siakam has made a huge impact in his debut season. The 6-9 youngster is shooting .577 from the floor and is averaging 13.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Senior guard Daniel Mullings (12.6 ppg) and senior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (10.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg) round out the potent foursome.

The Jayhawks are certainly not an offensive force like in years past. Instead, Kansas has been successful with more of a team-effort, and no prolific scorers to speak of. The team is averaging 71.2 ppg on .440 shooting, while holding foes under 40 percent efficiency (.395) and yielding just 64.7 ppg.

Junior forward Perry Ellis was a little banged up down the stretch this season, but should be ready to go against the Aggies. Ellis was named to the All-Big 12 First-Team and leads Kansas in both scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg) this season. Sophomore guard Frank Mason III is the only other Jayhawk with a double-digit scoring average at 12.3 ppg. However, fellow sophomore Wayne Selden Jr. and freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. are just under the mark with 9.8 and 9.3 ppg, respectively.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!