Author William P Harty Jr

61 entries

Aggies-Miners Game One: This is Always a War.

There are only five other division I schools within 400 miles of Las Cruces, New Mexico. In 1951, the Border Conference moved from the newly organized College Division of the NCAA to the University Division. The schools now known as Northern Arizona, Arizona State, Arizona, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Texas-El...

Just One Change...

New Mexico State and Arizona have a natural geographic rivalry that is not renewed often enough. Of Division I schools, only Arizona State and Northern Arizona are closer to Arizona; only UTEP and New Mexico are closer to NMSU. The Aggies and Wildcats match up tonight for the 100th time, Arizona holding an all-time...

Why?

I have seen a lot of discussion over the past week or so about the increasing number of games between Division I schools and schools belonging to Division II, Division III and the NAIA. Division I rules allow a maximum of four such games in a season, but why do Division II schools make it on Division I schedules?...

Wednesday Night in Las Cruces

Wednesday night's matchup between the McNeese State Cowboys and the New Mexico State Aggies was the first time the two teams had met since 1956, so there is not a lot of history to write about. The Cowboys came to Las Cruces with a 4-5 record, but three of the wins were against schools outside of Division I (the...

A Very Different Wednesday Night in Las Cruces

Wednesday night brought the last of New Mexico State's annual home-and-home rivalry games against New Mexico and UTEP. The Aggies beat New Mexico in Albuquerque what seems like a lifetime ago (actually November 16), ending long University Arena (commonly known as the Pit) home win streaks of non-conference home...

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at New Mexico State 12/31/2011

The atmosphere at Saturday's noon game between the Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and New Mexico State was quite different from the Aggies' Wednesday sellout against the University of New Mexico. Even by halftime, the crowd was very small and quiet. Here's the view from my seat. The Arkansas-Pine Bluff...

WAC Play in Las Cruces Begins: Utah State at New Mexico State 1/12/2012

Conference play in the WAC started last weekend, and the race appears to be wide open. Before the season, WAC coaches picked Nevada to win, followed by New Mexico State and Utah State. WAC media (I believe the WAC is the only conference that conducts two separate preseason polls) picked Utah State, followed by...

Milestones: 400, 500, 1000, 3-0; Idaho at New Mexico State 1/14/2012

As the Eight-Hundred Game Project reaches its halfway point, today in Las Cruces was a day of milestones in other ways. This afternoon, I attended a memorial service for Dick Waugh. Dick was the associate director of the NMSU Computer Center for many years, some of which I spent working for him, more in a programming...

Catch Us If You Can: Nevada at New Mexico State 1/26/2012

In the time since Sam Wasson and I both covered the NMSU-Idaho game nearly two weeks ago, the conference race has begun to take shape. Tonight's opponents in Las Cruces are the clear favorites: Nevada came in unbeaten with a 5-0 record, including key road wins at both Utah State and Idaho; last week the Wolf Pack...

The Lou Henson Classic: Fresno State at New Mexico State 1/28/2012

Saturday brought us to a series of basketball events to the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M. First, the NMSU women continued to learn new coach Mark Trakh's system against Louisiana Tech's Lady Techsters, a traditional power in women's hoops. The first half was close, but two 15-0 Tech second-half runs,...

Last of the Independents: Cal State Bakersfield at New Mexico State 2/1/2012

Wednesday in Las Cruces saw a visit to New Mexico State by the Roadrunners of California State University at Bakersfield. The Roadrunners played their first Division I season five years ago and have yet to find a conference home, although the Big West has been hearing from them regularly. There are only three...

Young Guards Shine: La Tech at NMSU 2/4/2012

Saturday marked the beginning of the second half of the WAC season for both New Mexico State and visiting Louisiana Tech. On Jan. 7 at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, the Aggies defeated the Bulldogs 83-73, in a game that the Aggies led by six at the half and by double digits much of the second half. But...

Opportunity: Northern NM at NMSU 2/14/2012

As New Mexico State starts its final home stand of the season, I spent some time thinking about how I became a devout follower of college basketball, and the Aggies in particular. Much of that is due to my constant companion at NMSU events over the years, my mother, who is now 85 years old. In the Pan American...

BracketBusters: Drake at NMSU 2/18/12

Before the BracketBusters pairings came out on January 30, New Mexico State knew it was possible that it would be one of the 26 teams selected to play on national television, but not confident that it would. However, only 20 members of the field were ranked in the top 100 of the RPI, and NMSU was one of them (ranked...

A Capital Victory for Bucknell

Sometimes business travel comes at inopportune times for those of us heavily dependent on basketball schedules to arrange our winter evenings. This season, I have been away from Las Cruces, N.M., on business and missed two New Mexico State home games: the Southern game in December and the Hawai'i game Thursday...

Thousands: San Jose State at NMSU 2/25/2012

A little more than 6,000 fans came out for New Mexico State's senior night game against San Jose State. The three seniors were honored after the game with video highlights, the presentation of framed jerseys and opportunities to take the microphone and thank the fans who have supported them for four years. This...

WAC Quarterfinal: Idaho v Hawai'i

Welcome to sunny Las Vegas, where it is a balmy 63 degrees for Thursday s first game of the WAC tournament between the third seeded Idaho Vandals and the sixth seeded Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors. Of cours...

WAC Quarterfinal: NM State v Fresno State

Welcome back to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for the second quarterfinal of the WAC Tournament. At the tip, it was still 63 degrees in Las Vegas for the matchup between the second seeded New Mexico State Aggies and the seventh seeded Fresno State Bulldogs. From the Orleans sports book, the Aggies were favored...

WAC Quarterfinal: Nevada v San Jose State

Welcome back to Las Vegas, where it was still a balmy 63 degrees as the evening session of games in the WAC Men's Basketball Tournament began with the top seeded Nevada Wolf Pack facing the eight-seeded San Jose State Spartans. The Orleans sports book had Nevada as eleven point favorites, and expected that somewhere...

WAC Quarterfinal: Utah State v Louisiana Tech

The fourth game of the day in the WAC tournament matched the fourth seeded Utah State Aggies and the fifth seeded Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, the second Aggie-Bulldog matchup of the day. The Orleans oddsmakers liked Utah State to win by about 4 and the total score to be around 129. This was the third game today...

WAC Semifinal: New Mexico State v Hawai'i

It was another great day for hoops in Las Vegas, sunny and 67 degrees for the six p.m. tip of the first WAC semifinal contest between second seed New Mexico State and sixth seed Hawai'i. The ...

WAC Semifinal: Nevada v Louisiana Tech

Friday's second semifinal in the WAC tournament featured the regular-season champion Nevada Wolf Pack playing the fifth-seeded Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Nevada had an easy victory on Thursday over San Jose State, while the Bulldogs defeated Utah State in a mild upset. Although there were some favorites based on...

WAC Final: New Mexico State v Louisiana Tech

Saturday's WAC Men's Basketball Championship final featured the second seed New Mexico State Aggies and the fifth seeded Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The prior two nights have seen the Aggies defeat Fresno State (seeded seventh) and Hawai'i (seeded sixth and upset winner over Idaho on Thursday). The Bulldogs road...

The View from Sixty Seasons

When the first TMM9 challenge of the season was issued, after checking to see if it connected strongly for any of my teammates, I thought about who I knew that would have thoughts about the beginning of the basketball season that someone else might want to read. After a little thought, and a quick phone call,...

Guarantee Game; Expected Result

After a loss at Oregon State to open the season and the Wounded Warrior Classic, New Mexico State hosted the Southeastern Louisiana Lions of the Southland Conference. This was the Aggies' home opener, against a school they had only faced once before, in 1997. The Lions came to Las Cruces after opening the season...

Whose Ball Is It? Miner Ball!

Since the NMSU Aggies did not start the season on the opening Friday of the season, I found myself making the relatively short trip to the nearest game. I had not been in the Don Haskins Center at UTEP since before it got that name; it was previously known by the colorless name "Special Events Center." Built...

A Tune-up for Both Teams

Thanksgiving eve brought the second-ever matchup between the Northern New Mexico Eagles and the New Mexico State Aggies. Northern New Mexico College took the "Junior" out of its name only seven years ago. This is the fourth year of their men's basketball program, and the second year that the Eagles have competed...

RIP, Kelsey Crooks

The day after Thanksgiving, New Mexico State basketball fans saw the first round games of the women's Hotel Encanto Classic. In the first, the Anteaters of the University of California at Irvine nipped the Drake Bulldogs 69-64; the second saw the NMSU Aggies defeat the George Mason Patriots 55-52. The third game...

Aggies-Miners Game One: This is Always a War

I know of no other non-conference rivalries that regularly play two annual games, home-and-home, besides the ones between New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico, and between New Mexico State and the University of Texas at El Paso. Tonight begins the "Battle of I-10," named for the cross-country...

Coasting to the Red Line Upset

December 1 was another busy sports day for Las Crucens, but much of it came to us on the radio. In the afternoon, the Las Cruces High Bulldogs won their state semifinal football game at Albuquerque's Wilson Stadium, defeating the Eldorado Eagles. NMSU Aggie football traveled to San Marcos, Texas, for the (presumably)...

Another Last Minute Decision in El Paso

My third visit this season to the Don Haskins Center in El Paso saw the host UTEP Miners play the Idaho Vandals for only the third time in history. In late December 1975, the Miners and Vandals played two consecutive nights in El Paso, the Miners winning both. In 1985, eight year Miner assistant Tim Floyd left...

Ballyfest Destiny Holiday Video Tour

Happy Holidays from Ballyfest Destiny! Welcome to our Holiday Video Tour! We'll start with a moment honoring those recently, senselessly lost in Newtown, Connecticut, courtesy of NBC and Saturday Night Live. Next, we bring you a few minutes below the Black Line with Taylor University's "Silent Night."...

Round One of the Rio Grande Rivalry

Round one of the Rio Grande Rivalry between the New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies this year was held at University Arena in Albuquerque, also known as the Pit. The two teams play an annual home-and-home series despite not being in the same conference since the Lobos abandoned the Border Conference...

The Rio Grande Rivalry Continues

The Rio Grande Rivalry measures the competition between New Mexico State and New Mexico in the fourteen sports they sponsor in common. Points are assigned to each sport and divided among the contests between the two schools. In basketball, both men's and women's, as well as baseball and softball, there are always...

Young Teams Battle before Conference Play

Today's matchup between Missouri State and New Mexico State is only the second time the two schools have met on the hardwood. On December 12, 1950, the New Mexico A&M Aggies visited Springfield and were defeated by the Southwest Missouri State College Bears, 64-54. Although the Aggies were once members of...

Cold Weather Outside; Hot Shooting Inside

For 2012-13, the University of Texas at San Antonio joins the Western Athletic Conference for its only season, having already joined Conference USA for next year. Tonight is the first of the Roadrunners' nine WAC road games, visiting New Mexico State. The first week of WAC play went poorly for both teams: UTSA...

Not Tonight, Bobcats!

"Southwest Texas State Normal School opened its doors in 1903. Over the years, the Legislature broadened the institution's scope and changed its name in succession, to Normal College, Teachers College, College, University, and in 2003 to Texas State University-San Marcos." (TSU website) Texas State moves this...

The Distaff Side at New Mexico State

Women's basketball is recognizable to followers of the men's game as mostly the same game, but there are significant differences. The pace is somewhat different; since the players are not usually as quick, the ball seems to move much more slowly up and around the court. However, the shot clock is only 30 seconds,...

A Respite from Conference Play

Monday's matchup between the Houston Baptist Huskies and the UTEP Miners was my fourth visit to the Don Haskins Center this season. I previously saw the Miners take down Oral Roberts, New Mexico State and Idaho, the latter two of which were pretty close games. As someone who sees a lot of games in a single arena,...

Whose Win Streak Continues?

The primary rivalries, at least to the fan base, of the New Mexico State University Aggies (for today, let's call them the Crimson Aggies) are with the New Mexico Lobos and the UTEP Miners. By far the nearest other Division I schools, it is only natural that these would remain important, despite sixty years...

Military Appreciation Night

Coming off Thursday's victory over Utah State, Saturday finds the New Mexico State Aggies facing the San Jose State Spartans. The Spartans, joining the Blue Aggies in moving from the WAC to the Mountain West next year, are the WAC opponent that New Mexico State Aggies' have played the second most to Utah State....

Whose Streak Continues? Part Two

Wednesday night's game featuring a visit from the Denver Pioneers to the Pan American Center in Las Cruces to face the New Mexico State Aggies was one of the more important games of the week in the WAC. The Pioneers (before this game 11-7 overall, 7-1 in WAC games) and Aggies (12-8, 6-2) were playing for second...

The Rio Grande Rivalry: A Brief History

The Game's challenge number eight could not have come at a more opportune time. Over the past couple of weeks, New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies has added his voice to a statement that New Mexico head coach Steve Alford has made several times: playing the Rio Grande Rivalry game once a year is enough....

Another Tough Loss for the Vandals

Prior to Idaho joining the Big West, there had only been one basketball game between New Mexico State and the Vandals, an 81-69 Aggie victory in the 1964 Anaconda, Montana, tournament. Since then, the teams have met 24 times. The Aggies won six of eight contests while both were members of the Big West, and sixteen...

Another Escape by the Aggies

The Seattle University basketball program was once one of the nation's premier teams. Led by Elgin Baylor, the Chieftains reached the 1958 Final Four, defeating 1 Kansas State before losing to Kentucky in the national final. Seattle gave up its independent status in 1971, joining the West Coast Athletic Conference....

Fans, Zone D & Aronis Superhoops: Aggies Win!

New Mexico State believes their all-time record before the second game this season against UTEP is Aggies 103, Miners 100. The Miners believe the long rivalry is tied at 102 games each. Whichever is correct, a question I may try to tackle over the summer, the Aggie-Miner rivalry, begun in 1915 between two schools...

Pioneers Nail Down the Two-Seed

This weekend's INCREDIBLY LARGE GAME in the WAC was the second meeting of the year between the second- and third-place teams in the standings, the Denver Pioneers (18-8 overall, 13-2 in the WAC) and the New Mexico State Aggies (19-9, 12-3). Denver had won its prior seven games, including five away from home,...

Another Streak Ends in Las Cruces

What a season for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs! Coming into the final weekend of the regular season, they had twenty-six wins, having won all fourteen home games and the last eighteen contests consecutively, the nation's longest active streak. Although two of their three losses (at Texas A&M, Northwestern...

Sy Leads on Senior Night

The final game of the regular season in Las Cruces brought the Mavericks of the University of Texas at Arlington to visit. This was the thirteenth meeting between New Mexico State and UTA in men's basketball and the second as members of the WAC. Since UTA is moving to the Sun Belt next year, it is unlikely that...

WAC 1st Round: Then There Were Nine

With ten schools In the WAC for this year, the tournament starts with first round games on Tuesday among those teams at the bottom of the standings. The first contest, matched the seventh seed, Texas State (10-20 overall, 5-12 WAC), against tenth-seed Seattle (8-21, 3-15 WAC). Texas State swept the team's closely...

WAC 1st Round: It Ended for SJSU

It has been a long season for both teams in this game between the eight-seeded San Jose State Spartans (9-19 overall, 3-14 WAC) and the ninth-seeded UTSA Roadrunners (8-21 overall, also 3-14 WAC). The Spartans have struggled through several player suspensions. James Kinney, leading scorer for SJSU in fourteen...

WAC Qtr: Mullings Leads Aggies to Victory

In the first quarterfinal of this year's WAC men's basketball tournament, the third-seeded New Mexico State Aggies played the sixth-seed, the Idaho Vandals. New Mexico State and Idaho are the only two schools that were in the WAC last year that will return next year, so this matchup is what passes for continuity...

WAC Semi: Aggies Return to the Final

Game 7, the first semifinal, of the WAC tournament pitted third seed New Mexico State, a 65-49 winner against Idaho in the tournament's quarterfinals, against seventh seed Texas State. Texas State began the tournament with a defeat of Seattle, 68-56, in Tuesday's first round; their quarterfinal was a big upset,...

WAC Qtr: Joel Wright Carries Bobcats On

Game four of the WAC tournament matched the seventh-seeded Texas State Bobcats (10-21 overall, 7-11 WAC), 68-56 winners on Tuesday against Seattle, with the second-seeded Denver Pioneers (21-8, 16-2), WAC co-champions of the regular season. Denver won both regular season matchups fairly easily, in early January...

WAC Qtr: A Shooting Guard Named Kannon

The third game of Thursday matched top seed and regular season co-champion Louisiana Tech with the Roadrunners of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Louisiana Tech (26-5, 16-2 WAC) had won both season contests with UTSA (8-21, 3-14 WAC): in mid-January, the Bulldogs won 73-71 in San Antonio; the return...

WAC Qtr: The (Kevin) Butler Did It

It has been a disappointing season for both of the teams in the fourth quarterfinal game of the WAC tournament. Utah State's WAC leadership had been derailed by health issues. Forward Danny Berger collapsed and was resuscitated by the training staff in December; he seems to be returning to health and may be...

WAC Semi: Gruszecki Superhoops to the Final

The second Friday semifinal of the WAC tournament matched two schools in their first seasons in the WAC, coming from the Southland. Fourth seeded UT-Arlington (18-12, 11-7 WAC) faced ninth-seeded UTSA (10-21, 3-14). The Mavericks advanced to this game with a Thursday 83-78 win over Utah State; the Roadrunners...

WAC Final: Freshman Bhullar Leads Aggies

Following a Friday of upsets in the WAC Tournament, the championship game matched the third-seeded New Mexico State Aggies (23-10, 14-4 WAC) and the fourth-seeded University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks (19-12, 11-7 WAC). The regular season games between these teams were the first of the conference season...

Dwayne Evans Too Much for the Aggies

I was sure at the end of my nineteen-game week in Las Vegas (the WCC final, all 18 M/W WAC tournament games) that my season was over. I was so tired that I slept the entire trip on the plane home, through the St. Patrick's Day party at my spouse's college roommate's home, and through the family birthday dinner...

Grizzlies Overwhelmed by Orangemen

Going to the NCAA tournament is an interesting process. Within an hour or so of the selections and seeding being announced, each school's designated contact is called by the NCAA's travel agency about plans for reaching the first game. Generally, school contingents arrive two days before their first contest....

Dotson Leads Ducks to the Sweet Sixteen

In the round of 32 in San Jose, the first game of the afternoon matched fourth-seeded Saint Louis University with the (underseeded? ) twelfth-seeded University of Oregon. The Billikens (28-6) reached this game by defeating WAC Champion New Mexico State 64-44 on Thursday; they had won their prior five games...

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