(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Head Coach Jason Hooten and the new-look Aggies will be headed to turquoise seas and white-sand beaches this fall as it was announced Thursday morning that NM State is set to participate in the 16th annual Men's Cancun Challenge presented by Triple Crown Sports.
The two-day event is scheduled to be played on Nov. 21-22, 2023, at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya just south of Cancun, Mexico.
The Aggies will be among a total of eight teams to compete at the 2023 Men's Cancun Challenge.
NM State will compete in the Riviera Division – joined by Fresno State, James Madison and Southern Illinois. Meanwhile, Morgan State, Northern Colorado, Radford and one school yet to be announced will battle it out in the Mayan Division.
Before traveling to Mexico, NM State will help kick off the Cancun Challenge on American soil on Saturday, Nov. 18, when it hosts Northern Colorado at the Pan American Center.
The outing against the Bears will be the final of four games to be played in the United States as part of the Cancun Challenge before the teams make their way to Mexico.
Once in Mexico, NM State will open the event with a game against Fresno State at 6:30 p.m. MT on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
The Aggies will then turn around and face either James Madison or Southern Illinois on Wednesday, Nov. 22, with their opponent to be determined based off of the outcome of the games played on Tuesday evening.
While this will be the first time that the Aggies compete in the well-known event, both Fresno State and Northern Colorado will be making their return after competing in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Previous men's champions of the event include Kentucky (2009), Illinois (2011), Wichita State (2012), West Virginia (2019) and Auburn (2022).
This will mark the Aggies' second regular-season trip to Mexico, however, it has been over 100 years since NM State competed in Mexico as they played three games in Colonia Juarez amid the 1908-09 campaign.
NM State last made a trip overseas during the 2019-20 season when it competed in the Cayman Islands Classic.
2023 Cancun Challenge Full Schedule
Wednesday, Nov. 15
Morgan State at Fresno State
Thursday, Nov. 16
TBA at Southern Illinois
Friday, Nov. 17
Radford at JMU
Saturday, Nov. 18
Northern Colorado at New Mexico State (Las Cruces, N.M.)
At the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya (subject to change):
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Morgan State vs. Radford, 12:30 p.m. ET (FloHoops)
TBA vs. Northern Colorado, 3 p.m. ET (FloHoops)
JMU vs. Southern Illinois, 6 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)
Fresno State vs. New Mexico State, 8:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)
Wednesday, Nov. 22
Morgan State/Radford loser vs. TBA/Northern Colorado loser, 12:30 p.m. ET (FloHoops)
Morgan State/Radford winner vs. TBA/Northern Colorado winner, 3 p.m. ET (FloHoops)
JMU/Southern Illinois loser vs. Fresno State/New Mexico State loser, 6 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)
JMU/Southern Illinois winner vs. Fresno State/New Mexico State winner, 8:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)