Saint Louis Billikens Vs. New Mexico State Aggies 3/21/13 Ryan’s Free College Basketball Pick Against the Spread
The Saint Louis Billikens play the New Mexico State Aggies in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in San Jose, CA.
The Saint Louis Billikens finished the season with a 27-6 record and a 13-3 mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference, while also winning the conference tournament. Saint Louis appeared in the tournament last year and lost to Michigan State in the third round. Head Coach Jim Crews is 1-4 in four appearances in the Big Dance. The Billikens have five players who average at least nine points a game, led by F Dwayne Evans who averages 12.9 points per game and a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game. Senior G Kwamain Mitchell is averaging 10.2 points per game and a team-high 3 assists per contest. The balance continues onto the bench, led by senior F Cody Ellis, who averages 10.1 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game, and was named the A-10 Sixth Man of the Year. Saint Louis has quality wins over New Mexico, Butler, and VCU this year. After the passing of Coach Rick Majerus in early December, the Billikens lost only three games the rest of the regular season. In seven NCAA Tournament appearances, the Billikens have never advanced past their second game.
New Mexico State finished the season with a 24-10 record and a 14-4 mark in the WAC, while also winning the WAC championship. The Aggies appeared in the tournament last year where they lost to Indiana in the second round. Head Coach Marvin Menzies is 0-2 in two appearances in the tournament. The Aggies repeat run through the WAC tournament was anything but smooth. New Mexico State made it through the weekend without senior starting F Tyrone Watson. He had rejoined the team after a suspension stemming from an arrest, then sustained an ankle injury and he is questionable for Thursday’s game. The Aggies have three players scoring in double figures led by G Daniel Mullings who averages 13.9 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. Senior F Bandja Sy is scoring 11.8 points per game and averages a team-high 7.3 rebound per contest. The Aggies best wins this year came against Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, and Denver. The New Mexico State enters the tourney on a five-game winning streak and has now won six straight WAC tournament games by at least nine points, and by an overall margin of 14.3 points per win.
New Mexico State may have dominated the WAC, but they do not have the non-conference wins to consider them a threat against Saint Louis. The Billikens are a legit team and they should have been seeded higher in the tournament. With the death of Coach Majerus, Saint Louis has added motivation heading into the tournament. The Billikens also start four three juniors and one senior and they have proven they can play with the best teams in the country this season. I think Saint Louis comes out and destroys New Mexico State in this one.