03/12/2012 03:55 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2012

New Mexico, Long Beach State Meet In NCAA Tournament 2012 West Region

Traditionally a trendy upset pick, this 5/12 game certainly will be given a close look by armchair bracketologists. Drew Gordon and the Lobos played impressively in the Mountain West Tournament, knocking off tournament squads San Diego State and UNLV in succession. On the other hand, the 49ers of Long Beach State won't be awed by the stage or the competition, having tested their mettle against an elite out-of-conference schedule. Will those looking for Cinderella mind that Long Beach State came up on the losing end against might foes like UNC, Kansas and Louisville? Or just be impressed that they played them


Overall Record: 27-6
MWC Record: 10-4
Last Ten Games: 8-2
Conference Tournament Outcome: Won Mountain West Tournament
Points Scored Per Game: 73.2
RPI Ranking: 27
KenPom Ranking: 13
Standout Player: Drew Gordon
Nickname: Lobos
Tournament Appearances: 7-13, 12 appearances
Season In Review: New Mexico has tended to follow up any rough patches with dominant winning streaks. After starting the season 2-2, the Lobos reeled off a baker's dozen of wins. That streak was halted by a two-game skid. After that? Another seven wins on the trot. Well, the Lobos have won five straight since a second set of back-to-back losses. How long will this streak last?


Overall Record: 25-8
Big West Record: 15-1
Conference Tournament Outcome: Won Big West Tournament
Last Ten Games: 8-2
RPI Ranking: 34
KenPom Ranking: 37
Points Scored Per Game: 74
Nickname: 49ers
Tournament History: 7-9, 8 appearances
Standout Player: Casper Ware
Season In Review: The cream of the Big West, Long Beach State is powered by Casper Ware, dubbed the "Greatest Show on Surf." The senior perimeter player thrived in big spots going for 28 points at Pitt and 29 versus North Carolina.

CORRECTION: Drew Gordon's name was incorrectly spelled in an earlier version of this preview.



Click HERE for Printable 2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket and stay tuned for in-depth coverage of March Madness throughout the tournament.