Shocking twists and turns have all been a part of the 2013 WAC Tournament, and on Saturday night, the madness ends in Las Vegas, as college basketball betting warfare takes place one final time between the New Mexico State Aggies and the Texas Arlington Mavericks.
The Mavericks have only been to the NCAA Tournament once before back in 2008, and they are hoping to get back for the second time with a win on Saturday. This is a team that has really gotten relatively lucky along the way. It picked up a fortunate spot in the semifinals against the Texas San Antonio Roadrunners and took full advantage, winning by 16 points in a game that really was never all that close. Now, instead of getting either the Denver Pioneers or the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Texas Arlington has to face New Mexico State. This is an interesting team that is coming to the WAC Final. Stars there are none of. Role players there are gobs of. F Kevin Butler leads the way, averaging 11.1 points per game, but he is only one of the nine player in the regular rotation that contribute to the action. F Jordan Reves and F Brandon Edwards are both keys in the paint, as they are combining for almost 16 rebounds and 16 points per game.
The Aggies have had their fair share of luck as well along the way. They have only had to face a pair of teams that finished their respective seasons nowhere near the .500 mark to reach the WAC Final, and now, they could waltz into the NCAA Tournament after only really being considered perhaps the third or fourth choice on the board at the start of the tourney. Don’t kid yourself, though. This is a rock solid team that has a real chance of not only dancing, but doing some damage when it gets there as well. New Mexico State has a veteran squad led by G Daniel Mullings, F Bandja Sy, and F Tyrone Watson. These three rarely leave the court, and they are all rebounding machines. Add in C Sim Bhullar, and you’ve got five players that are all averaging at least five boards per game. The backcourt play is shoddy at times, but man, these bigs are good, and that’s how the Aggies have made it this far in the season with a chance at dancing on the line.
Texas Arlington has been a great story this year, but it just isn’t good enough to win this game. The Aggies have been amongst the class teams in the WAC this year, and though their road to the finale has been very easy, they aren’t going to let up in this one. The Mavericks covered both games this year and even won by 21 when these two met back in December in the Lone Star State. They’ll get crushed on Saturday, though. New Mexico State 76 – Texas Arlington 66
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.