March 10, 2012

March Madness Picks: WAC Final – Louisiana Tech vs. New Mexico State

Several bids to the NCAA Tournament will be handed out on Saturday, but the last of those bids will go to the winner of the WAC Championship Game between the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the New Mexico State Aggies.

The Bulldogs came out of nowhere to take care of the top seed in the WAC Tournament late on Friday, beating the Nevada Wolf Pack as six-point underdogs. Now, they are just one step away from being the very unlikely winners of the WAC, which would only make a tournament that has already been crazy all the more interesting. The very first problem that we see with Louisiana Tech though, is the fact that it just doesn’t have all that much size. The top four scorers on the team are all guards, and though all of them can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court and three of the four are good for double digits of points per game, none are prolific rebounders. The big man of the bunch if Romario Souza, and the fact that he only averages 16.5 minutes per game doesn’t help out all that much. He is the team’s leading rebounder at just 4.5 boards per game, and that is a scary number against a New Mexico State team that will run all over the place and knock down shots from anywhere on the court. Second chances for the Aggies on the offensive end of the court must be avoided.

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You can bet that the Aggies are going to want to give a huge thank you card to the Bulldogs for getting Nevada out of this tournament. The Wolf Pack were definitely the alpha dogs in this tournament, and with them gone, NMSU suddenly becomes the clear favorite to go dancing. The Aggies average 78.4 points per game this year, and it is amazing that they are able to do that in spite of the fact that they only hit 32.8 percent of their three point shot attempts. That being said, they still do a great job from the field at 47.0 percent, and they are always seeming to get high percentage shots, especially when they are in transition. Dropping 92 points on the Hawaii Warriors on Friday was just another day in the office for New Mexico State, and we would expect nothing more than much of the same on Saturday when it is back on the court with a chance to go dancing.

The Final Word: We really like the Aggies in this one. We know that it is going to require laying some points, but in order to take a team out like Nevada, you really have to give it everything that you’ve got. This is a totally different challenge, and it is one that is nearly impossible to get prepare for in 24 hours. Lay the points with NMSU, knowing that the only way that it doesn’t go to the tourney now is if it beats itself.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs @ New Mexico State Aggies Pick: New Mexico State Aggies

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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