The Aggies lost both Big West meetings to the defending national champion UNLV in 1991 where the Rebels were the preseason No. 1 and went unbeaten until the Final Four. From what I could gather, UCLA was also the No. 1 team when the Bruins beat NMSU 53-38 in the 1969 NCAA Tournament.
I don't expect an Aggies win on Wednesday. I understand the frustration from NMSU fans with the Aggies 0-3 record during this stretch, where I thought that two wins would be a success but that included a home win over the Lobos. I still think this weekend's road game at Drake is a NMSU win, but travel and the home loss to the Lobos make a win at the Pit unlikely.
I will say this however. Despite the losing, can you honestly look at this year's team and not see growth from last year. I would say every other NMSU team under Marvin Menzies would have been blown out at Colorado State and Gonzaga. I will grant you that failing to show up at home against the Lobos was a low point this season, and the Aggies certainly have their challenges. One that has surprised me has been on the boards, giving up 16 offensive rebounds per game the past three games, and the lack of a consistent backcourt scorer to help Daniel Mullings. It's too bad that the Aggies couldn't have those issues resolved by now because the WAC will offer little resistance.
I also think the fact that the Aggies have played these teams should help them once they step on the court in the NCAA Tournament. Without the hope of getting quality wins, the knowledge that they can compete with these teams could be the only positives the Aggies can take away from it. Lets hope so at least. It's a low standard, I admit. But I have a better feeling about this team than I have in years past. But I could be off.