Long Beach State and New Mexico are staking out themes as they head toward their NCAA men's basketball tournament second-round game Thursday in Portland, Ore.
New Mexico has some anger going. Just ask any Lobos player.
"We're mad at someone," guard Kendall Williams told reporters Sunday. "Oh my gosh, we're mad at someone. I don't know who it is yet."
Long Beach is the team with the agenda.
"It doesn't stop here," 49ers forward Eugene Phelps said. "We've got bigger plans than to get here and lose in the first round."
When mid-majors collide it can become a fight over which is the bigger underdog.
"It feels good to be the underdog," Phelps said. "No one knows you. No one expects you to win."
New Mexico (27-6) has had that chip on its shoulder all season.
The Lobos were mad that it took poll voters so long to recognize that they were as good as Mountain West Conference rivals San Diego State and Nevada Las Vegas.
And New Mexico forward Drew Gordon was mad when San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin was chosen as the Mountain West Conference's player of the year.
So the Lobos won a share of the conference regular-season title, splitting with San Diego State and UNLV. Then Gordon was chosen as the conference tournament's most valuable player after New Mexico eliminated UNLV and San Diego State.
Now the Lobos are looking for new slights and challenges.
"[Forward] Cam Bairstow ordered some headphones and they were delivered to the wrong door," Williams joked. "So that made us mad."
Williams went on to give the public fair warning, saying, "Watch out because we're mad at you and you're the reason we're going to go into the tournament hot."
Long Beach (25-8) seems to be missing some of that mid-major angst, but the 49ers do have a master plan, especially among their four core seniors — Phelps, Casper Ware, T.J. Robinson and Larry Anderson.
"We're here to win it," Phelps said.
"Get to the Final Four," Phelps said. "There, I'm saying it."
Long Beach defeated UC Santa Barbara in the Big West tournament final Saturday, removing one item from its to-do list.
"You can't be labeled a good team without going to the NCAA tournament," Phelps said. "Now we can be labeled as a good team."
"We want to go out in style," Phelps said.
Long Beach Coach Dan Monson has reduced the 68-team field into a series of smaller tournaments — one each weekend. He told his team that this weekend will be no different from playing in the Big West tournament.
"You try to relate to them that this is what they just did," Monson said. "Last week we were focused. We didn't just go there to beat UC Davis in the first round. We need to get back to being who we are and not have it like Selection Sunday, where people are telling us how great we are and it's over."
Anderson, who suffered a sprained knee against Cal State Fullerton on March 3, participated in a light team workout Tuesday but was limited to dribbling and shooting without jumping.
Anderson missed the three Big West tournament games. He said he expects to be ready to play Thursday.
"We're a deeper team this year," Monson said. "Last year, we were 2-6 with Larry out [injured]. This year, we're 3-0."