New Mexico State faces long odds as a No. 13 seed in the Midwest Region against St. Louis. It should help that the Aggies have the largest player in the tournament in 7-foot-5 center Sim Bhullar.

New Mexico State's Sim Bhullar provides an imposing presence in the paint. (Associated Press) New Mexico State’s Sim Bhullar provides an imposing presence in the paint. (Associated Press)

Bhullar, 20, certainly gives New Mexico State a presence in the paint, averaging 10.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 24 minutes per game.

As noted on the television broadcast, the mammoth center has actually slimmed down this season to play at 355 pounds after tipping the scales north of 400 during his final high school season in Canada. At 7-5, he is two inches shorter than former Washington Bullet Gheorge Muresan and an inch shorter than Houston Rocket Yao Ming, but he’s still listed heavier than both players ever were.

“He’s not just big — he’s good and big,” Saint Louis coach Jim Crews said yesterday.

Through one half against Saint Louis, Bhullar had two points and six rebounds. New Mexico State trailed, 29-16, at the break in another low-scoring contest. Flip over to TNT for the second half to check him out as the Aggies may have a quick exit coming if they can’t flip the script on the Bilikens.


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