Here is my story from today. UNC coach BJ Hill is in his fourth year. It took Marvin Menzies a couple years to get to the point where the Aggies are going to at least compete for a NCAA berth every year. With the players Menzies has in place now and the guys sitting out, which is looking more and more like Tanveer Bhullar among them, NMSU has a bigger window for success than they did in the past. Northern Colorado had a couple down years but they appear to be back with an opening win over K-state.
Both teams are playing somewhat fast this year and both teams were in the 80s the last time Northern Colorado came to the Pan Am and that was before the new rules.
I'm going Aggies 85-79
3-point defense: The 2011 Northern Colorado team was a great 3-pointing shooting team, 21st in the country with at least four guys who shot it well. So far this team shoots 33 percent and looks like has one great shooter in senior guard Tate Unruh, who is shooting 60 percent from 3. He's a career 45 percent shooter and his 15 attempts through two games are twice as more than the next player so the Aggies have to find him. UNC's biggest player is 6-9 so the biggest way to overcome that size is to make 3s
Rebounding: Although the Bears are undersized, Derrick Barden is a 6-5 senior who has grabbed 17 rebounds in each of the Bears first two games. UNC had nine offensive rebounds against K-State. sounds like Barden is very active on the glass. If UNC does shoot a lot of 3s, those lead to long rebounds so the Aggies need to chase those down while converting on their own offensive rebounds.
Interior: Anytime you are playing against a team where there is a vast advantage in terms of size, you hope the Aggies find a way to get Sim Bhullar and Chili Nephawe rolling early and often.