I have to confess that I actually went to school at UNC, although they weren't Division I when I was there. Unfortunately for NMSU, they aren't that great of a Division I team now. They have seniors and they can shoot the 3 which can help you win games, but they scored 82 points at the Pan Am against a second place team in a better league.
I think that NMSU is capable of putting together a run in Vegas to win the tournament. But I wouldn't bet on it. I doubted them last year as well, but this team doesn't have the same will that team had. As UNC cooled from 3-point range, missing all 11 attempts, the Aggies should have been able to take advantage but couldn't keep the Bears off the glass. There hasn't been a consistent play at the 5 all year, which is cause for concern down the stretch as well.
Gordo Castillo said the NMSU players were upset after losing at home. I don't know that they looked past UNC. Typically the Aggies have done a good job taking it one game at a time, but it's too late to be learning lessons this time of year. If UNC can make it that easy at the Pan Am, what is Utah State and Nevada going to be like. That's only if the Aggies get to the final weekend in the same situation they are in now.