Unlike the Spartans, the Aggies made it to the title game of the WAC tournament before falling to Utah State who received the conference's automatic bid.
NMSU had to sweat out the NCAA tournament selection show to see if they would even get a bid.
For Michigan State, the fifth seed was a bit of a disappointment after capturing a share of the conference's regular season championship, but being bounced out of the first round of the Big Ten tournament by finalist Minnesota cost the Spartans.
"It's a chance for us to come together and recapture some recognition or appreciation that maybe we thought we lost, " said MSU head coach Tom Izzo.
The Spartans have been an up-and-down team all season, with many attributing it to a lack of leadership and a true classic point guard.
But MSU has typically excelled in the tournament when critics thought they were going nowhere. MSU has never lost in the first round when carrying the 5th seed and the team believes that heading out west will give them a chance to bond together and make a run in this year's edition of the Big Dance.