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NCAA Bracket 2012: How New Mexico Basketball Got To March Madness

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Drew Gordon leads the New Mexico Lobos, who won a share of the Mountain West regular season title.

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The New Mexico Lobos did what was expected of them in the Mountain West Conference during the 2011-12 season, splitting a regular season title with the San Diego St. Aztecs. That regular season title likely had them in the 2012 NCAA Tournament before the Mountain West Tournament began, and they'll be looking to make a longer run than they did in their first March Madness appearance back in 2010.

New Mexico, a No. 3 seed that year, went out to the Washington Huskies in the second round. They missed out on the Big Dance last season, but Steve Alford's team is back this year and will be expected to do no worse than they did in 2010.

The Lobos own splits against both SDSU and the UNLV Rebels in conference, as well as a split with nonconference rivals the New Mexico State Aggies, who finished second in the WAC. They have just one bad loss, against the Santa Clara Broncos at a neutral location. Their nonconference schedule featured games against a number of poor major conference teams, with their best win by a wide margin coming against the Saint Louis Billikens.

Though the Lobos lost the top seed to San Diego State because of a tie-breaker, they rolled to the MWC Tournament title by knocking off Air Force, UNLV and SDSU on consecutive days.

Drew Gordon is the team's star, though New Mexico is well balanced and gets scoring contributions from all over. The senior forward is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, and is one of the nation's best rebounders with an average of 11 boards per game. Sophomore guard Kendall Williams is second on the Lobos in scoring and leads the team in assists. After the 6-foot-9-inch Gordon, the team is relatively small, but they are quick and pass well. They're a top-10 team in the country in assists.

New Mexico came out on the other end of Selection Sunday with a No. 5 seed and a date with Long Beach State in the Second round.

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For more on the Lobos, head over to Mountain West Connection. For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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