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No. 12 New Mexico State to face No. 5 Clemson in NCAA Tournament

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New Mexico State defeated GCU 72-58 winning the WAC tournament championship.

New Mexico State defeated GCU 72-58 winning the WAC tournament championship.

Jonah Gallegos

Jonah Gallegos

New Mexico State defeated GCU 72-58 winning the WAC tournament championship.

Going dancing sure doesn’t get old.

The New Mexico State Aggies, fresh off winning their eighth Western Athletic Conference Tournament Championship, will travel west down Interstate 10 to San Diego, where they will face the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Clemson Tigers Friday at 7:57 (MT) on TruTV inside Viejas Arena on the campus of San Diego State University.

“It is a dream come true and I am excited to be a part of this program and I am excited for our players – they have worked so hard and invested so much and to know be rewarded to play in the greatest show on Earth, it is an exhilarating feeling,” NMSU head coach Chris Jans said. “We are heading into the tournament with a lot of confidence and we are playing as well as we have all year long. …

“I don’t see why our kids can’t rise up to the level that is required to win games in the tournament.”

The Aggies sit at 28-5, which matches last year’s team for the most single-season wins in school history. NMSU has won six-straight games and have righted the ship after losing consecutive road games in the midst of WAC play.’

Clemson lost to No. 1 Virginia in the ACC Tournament semifinals and have gone 7-6 since losing star forward Donte Grantham to a season-ending ACL injury. The Tigers began the season 16-3 before Grantham’s injury and his 14.2 points per game.

NMSU has twice before been a No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament and have found success in that position. In 2010, Marvin Menzies’ Aggies came within a questionable lane violation call from beating a Michigan State team that went on to the Final Four, losing 70-67. The Aggies also went to the Sweet 16 as a No. 12 seed in 1992, which was the last time they won a tournament game.

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No. 12 New Mexico State to face No. 5 Clemson in NCAA Tournament