New Mexico State

Location: Las Cruces, NM

Conference: Western Athletic Conference

Mascot: Aggies

Coach: Marvin Menzies

Record: 23-10 (13-1 WAC)

Kenpom ranking: 88

Good wins (Kenpom ranking): UC-Irvine (95), UTEP (97), Texas Southern (207)

Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): New Mexico x 2 (141) @ Seattle (263) @ Oral Roberts (216)

Tournament appearances: 22 (current streak: 4)

Best result: Final Four (1970)

NBA alumni: Randy Brown, Reggie Jordan and Sam Lacey

Best name: Jalyn Pennie

Famous alumni: Pixar co-founder Alvy Ray Smith and comet discoverer Alan Hale

The Aggies are a real-ish team in a fake-ish conference: New Mexico State University eviscerated the WAC, going 13-1 and winning 10 by double digits. They were ranked No. 88 in Ken Pomeroy's ratings; the next best team is No. 270. The Aggies are literally head-and-shoulders above their competition. (They have several tall players, you see.)

Style of play: Secure the perimeter

Marvin Menzies knows the importance of defending the perimeter, and the Aggies have just about the best three-point defense in the country. Opposing teams shoot less than a quarter of their shots from beyond the arc, the second-fewest in the nation, and hit just 29.5 percent, seventh-worst. They're fine with inside shots happening, because of the whole height thing.

Key player: Pascal's law

Cameroonian Pascal Siakam, who is 6'9, showed up at NMSU a bit too wirey and didn't play his first year on campus while adding 30 pounds of weight. It worked: Siakam leads the team with 13.1 points (on 57 percent shooting), 7.8 rebounds (especially on the offensive glass, where he has the 26th-best rebound rate in the nation) and 1.8 blocks per game.

The biggest little brother

Last year, NMSU's big -- no, really, huge -- piece was Sim Bhullar, a 7'5, 360-pound mound of human who blocked shots and scored and grabbed boards like a dad playing in a middle school league. He's currently in the NBA D-League, but his younger brother is still in Las Cruces: At 7'3, 330 pounds, Tanveer Bhullar is basically a mite in comparison. He missed all of last year and the majority of this year with injury, but has gotten healthy in the last few weeks.