Here's the comparison between New Mexico and Long Beach State: 5-12 matchup-up
Experts are torn on this game, and this is one of the best 1st round matchups.
On the Road/neutral:
New Mexico: 13-4 (non-conference- 6-1)
Long Beach State: 13-8 (non-conference- 3-7) *NOTE: Long Beach State played the toughest schedule in the country...)
Common opponent: San Diego State: SDSU beat Long Beach State 77-73 in Veijas Arena. SDSU lost to New Mexico in Viejas 77-67, but beat New Mexico at the Pit 75-70. The third meeting between the Lobos and Aztecs for the MWC Championship was 68-59 win for New Mexico.
Caspar Ware is one of the top players in the country. He was repeats his second season as being voted the POY for the Big West. His teammate, Larry Anderson was the Big West's Defensive POY and their coach, Dan Monson was the BWC coach of the year.
Out Of Conference
OOC schedule for Long Beach State was toughest in the country (8 opponents in the field) and they hung with UNC, Kansas, Creighton, San Diego State and were beaten badly by Louisville and Kansas State. They beat Xavier on a neutral court for their best win- that just after their fast fall after the Cincy game.
New Mexico's OOC wasn't too hot. All the teams they played from big conferences had mediocre to flat out horrible seasons: Arizona State, USC, Boston College, and Washington St. Only good team played was St. Louis and the game went down to the end at the Pit.
Long Beach State: (15-1) and winners of the BWC regular season and BWC tourney.
New Mexico: (13-4) Co-winners of the Mountain West Conference and tourney winner- The MWC had nearly every team with a winning record through January. The Lobos beat Air Force, UNLV and San Diego State to win the conference tourney in Las Vegas.
New Mexico is one of the deepest teams (play 10) in the country with 6 players averaging over 6 ppg. One of the top assists teams in the country (#10). 10 players have over 40 rebounds this season. 6 players shoot from beyond the arc. 5 players have an assist/turnover ratio above 1.5. Ranked 13th in the nation in lowest points allowed. Ranked 29th in the nation in rebounding. A significantly better rebounding team than Long Beach State. Led by senior Drew Gordon averaging 13.4 ppg, 10.9 rpg (#1 in MWC; #6 in nation), 1 bpg, 1.2 spg.
Long Beach State is best known for playing the toughest OOC schedule in the country and performing very well. Four seniors who played together for 4 years. Caspar Ware is a serious PG who is fearless. He takes as many shots than the 2nd and 3rd highest scorers combined. 9 players shoot 44% from the field (or better). 7 players have 30 or more assists. T.J. Robinson is nearly as good a rebounder as is Drew Gordon.
Larry Anderson is in question for this game so the Lobos will continue to be favored even more than the normal 5/12 spread.