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March Madness: New Mexico State goes for Sweet 16 Berth against 4-seed Arkansas

BUFFALO, New York - The celebration from New Mexico State's first-round win over Connecticut was well-deserved. But now, it's time for the Aggies to move forward and go for a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16. ABC-7 carried the Aggies' arrival live on ABC-7 at 5.

The Aggies will try to continue their March magic on Saturday night when they play 4-seed Arkansas in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament in Buffalo, NY. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:40pm ET/6:40pm MT broadcast on TNT.

New Mexico State certainly captured the attention of the nation on Thursday when they upset 5th-seeded UCONN behind a 37-point outing from redshirt junior guard Teddy Allen.

Now the attention turns to upsetting the Razorbacks (26-8), who finished fourth in the SEC and ranked 17th in the final AP Top 25 Poll.

The Razorbacks are led by Third Team All-American JD Notae, and feature an uptempo offense under third-year coach Eric Musselman.

Arkansas' season ended in the Elite Eight last season with an 81-72 loss to eventual national champion Baylor.

But New Mexico State has shown a mentality that showcases a confidence to anyone during their stay in Buffalo.

Allen, who's unlimited range and fadeaway jumpers drew cheers from the KeyBank Arena crowd on Thursday, believes the Aggies aren't a typical underdog.

"We're not feeling the pressure," says Allen, the WAC Player of the Year in the regular season. "The pressure is us, we're (going to) apply it."

Coach Chris Jans admits he has seen how his team's confidence is peaking at the right time.

"They got a lot of confidence. They believe in themselves," says Jans, who seen his profile skyrocket following his team's NCAA Tournament berth and subsequent first round victory."

New Mexico State is a 7-point underdog for Saturday night's game vs. the Razorbacks.

Should the Aggies win, they will move onto the Sweet 16 to play the winner of Memphis/Gonzaga. New Mexico State advanced to the Sweet 16 in 1992, but the wins were vacated by the NCAA due to academic violations under then-coach Neil McCarthy.

Nate Ryan

Nate Ryan is an ABC-7 sports anchor/reporter.

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