NMSU falls to Clemson in first round of NCAA tournament

NMSU men's basketball will head into NCAA Tournament confident and cautious

If the old adage holds true that teams with strong guard play perform well in the NCAA Tournament then Clemson should be in good shape Friday night against New Mexico State.

Clemson, seeded fifth, plays fourth-seeded Auburn in the second round at the Midwest Regional on Sunday (March 18) starting at 7:10 p.m. on TBS.

But the Cavaliers couldn't get anything generated on offense, and the nation's top-ranked defense couldn't contain the America East Conference champions. Mitchell says the first round was just Clemson getting their feet wet.

"We just enjoy playing off each other".

"I think that's a lot of basketball", Clemson coach Brad Brownell said when asked if guards win games in the tourney.

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"I thought defensively we did a lot of good things in the game, we made them really work, and it's always harder to defend when you are up 14 or 16 in the middle of the second half against guys like that who are coming at you aggressively. I didn't think was as productive, and when you do that you've got to have good players that can go make the plays and unfortunately for me we do". Auburn cut the margin to 29 points at the 4:17 mark (77-48), but that was as close as the SEC Tigers could get.

Also in the same bracket, the 13th seeded College of Charleston will play four seed Auburn. "When those guys play well we're very hard to beat".

The previous record for victory margin by the Tigers against a top-20 team was 27 in a 74-47 win over Duke on February 4, 2009.

"For us it's more about us believing in ourselves and us believing in what we do and who we are". "I told our team, 'We can be as successful as we want to be".


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