No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 New Mexico State Prediction, Game Preview


Baylor vs. New Mexico State prediction and game preview, as the No. 3 Bears and No. 14 Aggies face off in the NCAA Tournament.


The highly-touted Baylor Bears are going to be dancing and have been given a No. 3 seed in the East Region of the 2016-17 NCAA Tournament bracket.

The first obstacle lying ahead of the Bears is New Mexico State. While the Bears are coming off a 25-7 record, the Aggies are entering this matchup with a 28-5 mark.

Below is a complete preview and prediction for Baylor vs. New Mexico State.

Baylor vs. New Mexico State Game Preview

Date: March 17, 2017
Venue:  BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.
Region: 
East

Baylor Strengths

Johnathan Motley is a beast and can take over a game by himself, but he gets plenty of help from guys like Manu Lecomte and balanced scoring from the rest of the rotation. Baylor goes ast Motley goes, and that’s not a bad thing.

Baylor Weaknesses

Lecomte injured his ankle Jan. 18 and has been playing through pain ever since. He sat out the final game of the regular season and clearly still isn’t 100 percent. The Bears need him healthy if they want to avoid a third straight early exit from the NCAA Tournament.

Baylor Bears In-Depth Analysis

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New Mexico State Strengths

The Aggies defend the 3-point line as well as anyone in the country. Their opponents are shooting just 29.1 percent from deep, which is the fourth-lowest percentage in the country. That helped them hold each of their three opponents in the WAC tournament to 60 points or fewer. That defense combined with the solid play of WAC player of the year Ian Baker, who averages 16.6 points and 4.1 assists, a dangerous double-digit seed.

New Mexico State Weaknesses

Will New Mexico State be prepared for the competition it will face in the first round? The Aggies played exactly one power-conference team while going 28-5, beating Arizona State. While others in mid- and low-major conferences play a tougher nonconference schedule that helps them down the road, NMSU did not and will be getting a much tougher opponent than it has faced all season.

New Mexico State Aggies In-Depth Analysis

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Baylor vs. New Mexico State By The Numbers

Baylor Statistics

Scoring Margin: 10.5 (30)
Rebounding Margin: 8.8 (6)
Turnover Margin: -2.2 (312)
3-Point FG Percentage: 35.8% (142)

New Mexico State Statistics

Scoring Margin: 11.7
Rebounding Margin: 6.9
3-Point FG Percentage: 33.7% (243)

Baylor vs. New Mexico State Prediction

Baylor will be the toughest opponent the Aggies have seen all season, and the Bears will simply be too much to handle on both ends of the court. Baylor will get an all-around performance from Johnathan Motley, who will post a double-double and lead the Bears to a blowout win.

Baylor vs. New Mexico State Score Prediction: Baylor 89, New Mexico State 65

MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions