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San Diego State to Open NCAA Tournament Against New Mexico State

If the Aztecs (29-4) defeat the Aggies (26-9), they will face the winner of Saturday's game between fifth-seeded Oklahoma and 12th-seeded North Dakota State in Spokane.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

San Diego State's men's basketball team received the fourth seed Sunday in the West Region of  the NCAA tournament and will begin play Thursday against 13th-seeded New Mexico State in Spokane, Wash.    

If the Aztecs (29-4) defeat the Aggies (26-9), they will face the winner of Saturday's game between fifth-seeded Oklahoma and 12th-seeded North Dakota State in Spokane.

New Mexico State won the Western Athletic Conference tournament after finishing second in conference play. The Aggies are coached by Marvin Menzies, a San Diego State assistant coach from 1999-2003.

"He's a great friend," Aztecs coach Steve Fisher said of Menzies. "I've watched (his team) play several times and we talk regularly. Marvin and I talked a couple of weeks ago and I'm sure we'll talk again wishing we didn't have to play one another, but we'll be competitors for one game."

New Mexico State's coaching staff also includes Aerick Sanders, a forward-center for the Aztecs from 2000-2004 and the team captain in the 2003- 2004 season.

Both San Diego State senior guard Xavier Thames and sophomore forward Winston Shepard said the one thing they know about the Aggies is that they have a 7-foot-5 center -- Sim Bhullar, a sophomore from Toronto who is averaging 10.2 points and 7.8 rebounds and was chosen as the WAC tournament MVP.

New Mexico State is led by Daniel Mullings, a 6-foot-2 junior guard from Toronto, who was selected as the WAC's Player of the Year and is averaging a team-high 16.7 points per game.

"New Mexico State will be good and our winner will have a really hard game in the next one," Fisher said. "So we're pleased with where we're going, we're pleased with the seed and we're looking forward to playing."

—City News Service

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