Fifth-seed Auburn tried his best to let 12-seed New Mexico State pull the first big rage of this year's NCAA tournament of consistently dangling things at the exact moment they could put the game into bed. Unfortunately, New Mexico State was even more incomplete as it was important and failed to finish the job.
Auburn thoroughly dominated New Mexico State for most of the second half, eventually leading to as much as 13 points. However, after 17 minutes of non-circulation, the tigers decided to give Aggies a shot at orchestrating comeback by turning the ball over six times in six minutes. The game was eventually settled into a flawed three-way party. With eight seconds left in the game, JoJo Zamora hit a late three to cut the tiger's lead down to a single point.
timeout, so coach Chris Jans could prepare "foul the guy with the ball game. It ended up working to perfection. Auburn's Samir Doughty, an 84.6 percent free-kick shooter, missed the first of his two free throws that shot his team to only two. This is where things began to rave.
New Mexico State Guard A.J. Harris took the ball down the floor and found an open path to the basket. In literally any other competitive scenario, Harris would have taken the lay-up and tied things up. Instead, he played the numbers played decided two were less than three and ignored the easy opportunity to tie the game so he could kick the ball off a potentially winning three.
Fortunately for the Aggies, Auburn attempted to cease Harris's leg head and forged Terrell Brown during the resulting three-point attempt. With under two seconds to go, there were only three free throws between New Mexico State and almost definite victory. With an unthinkable weight pressure on the shoulders, Brown rose to the line. He missed his first shot. No matter, not? He had to sew his next two attempts to force overtime, and he was halfway there when he sank his second shot. Only his third attempt slipped, which probably should have killed Aggies' chances.
But wait! The fat lady hadn't sung just yet. When he tried to corral rebound from Brown's missing attempt, a tiger knocked the ball off the boundaries. This gave New Mexico State possession of the ball once again from under the hanger with 1.1 seconds left. Get the ball in and hit a bucket – any bucket – and New Mexico State would live to play another day.
But it was at that time that which devout god looked over this matchup, decided it was here that New Mexico State's luck would stop. Aggiesne prepared a creative play game that gave Trevelin Queen a wide open look from three, but the guard blew it by missing the game winner with approx. four feet.
This game just came down to Auburn, who could not cope with the New Mexico State's incompetence in the most. Hopefully for the Tigers, that's the only link gene they really lack.