This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Press releaseLOGAN, Utah - For the seventh time in the last 11 years, Utah State men's basketball will be playing in the NCAA Tournament when 12th-seeded USU will take on fifth-seeded Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA South Regional on Friday, March 19 at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash. Times will be announced Sunday night or Monday morning.
Utah State (27-7 overall, 14-2 WAC) is making it second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as well as its seventh in the last 11 years and eighth in the last 13 years. Overall, USU is making its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance. Last season, 11th-seeded Utah State lost to sixth-seeded Marquette, 58-57, in Boise, Idaho, in the first round.
This is USU's second time as a No. 12 seed in the last three appearances as well as fifth time overall since the NCAA started seedings in 1980. Utah State made three-straight NCAA appearances as a No. 12 seed in 1998, 2000 and 2001, along with 2006.
Utah State is coming off its third-straight regular-season Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship, losing to New Mexico State in the WAC Tournament championship game, 69-63, Saturday night in Reno, Nev., snapping USU's 17-game win streak and denying it of a second-straight regular-season/tournament championship sweep.
USU has now won 23 or more games in each of the last 11 seasons and is one of just three teams in the nation to accomplish that feat along with Gonzaga and Kansas. Utah State's 27 wins this year are the fourth-most in school history. During the last 11 years, Utah State has averaged 25.4 wins per season.
Friday's match-up with 23rd-ranked Texas A&M will be another all-Aggie affair, as TAMU enters the NCAA Tournament with a 23-9 overall record, going 11-5 in Big 12 action. The maroon-clad Aggies lost to No. 1 Kansas, 79-66, last Friday night in the Big 12 semifinal. TAMU is led by senior guard Donald Sloan with 18.2 points per game while senior forward Bryan Davis leads the team with 7.9 rebounds per game.
Junior forward Tai Wesley leads a trio of USU players averaging double-digits with 13.6 points per game, while senior guard Jared Quayle added 12.5 ppg and junior forward Nate Bendall chips in with 10.4 ppg. Welsey leads USU with 6.6 rebounds per game, while Quayle adds 6.3 rpg to go with 4.2 assists per game.
Both Quayle and Wesley were named to the WAC all-Tournament team, after Quayle led USU with 25 points, while Wesley posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game Saturday.
Quayle also was recognized as one of 10 players named to the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District VIII team, along with first-team all-WAC honors and was named the league's Most Valuable Player by NetScouts Basketball.
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill was named the WAC Coach of the Year as well as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 6 co-Coach of the Year along with Northern Colorado's Tad Boyle.
The winner of the Utah State-Texas A&M game will play the winner of fourth-seeded Purdue and 13th-seeded Siena on Sunday, March 21.
(Courtesy USU media relations)