The last time the New Mexico State Aggies won an NCAA Tournament game was March 19, 1993.
As a 7-seed, the Aggies beat 10-seed Nebraska at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.
So, after the Aggies won the WAC Tournament in 2022, and got a 12-seed, there was some belief a win was coming.
Teddy Allen and Company made sure that it did.
Allen had a game-high 37 points to lead 12-seed New Mexico State to a 70-63 win over 5-seed UConn at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
And with 35 seconds, Allen put the game away. New Mexico State was leading 63-60 and needed a stop. Off of a Jabari Rice and Clayton Henry double team, Allen came up with the steal. The drive that sent the Aggies to the Round of 32 came next.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 18, 2022
“I’m just proud of our guys,” New Mexico State head coach Chris Jans said. “We played, obviously, very well a majority of the game. Got up to 14 and we knew they’d come back. They punched us pretty hard … and then they just made plays. Players make plays. And we had some guys make some plays down the stretch to get the win.”
The win comes three years after heartbreak in Salt Lake City. New Mexico State had a chance to knock off Auburn but a Trevelin Queen 3-pointer hit the front iron and the Aggies were left wondering.
Not so much in 2022, where Allen and the Aggies made the most of the opportunity in snapping almost three decades of misery.
Johnny McCants, Clayton Henry and Donnie Tillman all made a choice to return in 2021-22. That decision came after the wild 2020-21 COVID season. And it paid off for all three as well as head coach Chris Jans who moved on to Mississippi State just three days later after the Aggies were knocked off by Arkansas in the Round of 32.