Texas A&M Basketball: Alabama preview, predictions and how to watch

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Texas A&M basketball team returns to College Station for their regular season finale on Saturday against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Reed Arena.

After a season full of extreme highs and extreme lows, the Texas A&M basketball team returns to Reed Arena for one final game this season. The Aggies (19-11, 8-9) started 11-2 this season, but picked up just eight more wins up to now. Once considered an NCAA lock, the Aggies probably needed to win two of their last three games to safely say they were in the NCAA Tournament.

The Ags responded to the pressure, picking up bigtime wins on the road at Vanderbilt and then at Georgia. Going three for three to end the season would of course be optimal, and with an NCAA Tournament bid all but locked up at this point, a win in the season finale against Alabama will go a long way in getting the Aggies a first round bye in the SEC Tournament in St. Louis.

Alabama (17-13, 8-9) sits one spot ahead of Texas A&M in the SEC standings with the same record of 8-9 and come into this game on a four game losing streak. For the Aggies a win, moving up a spot to claim a first round bye in the SEC Tournament, and finishing the season with a .500 conference record is critical.

With all of the talent this team has an SEC regular season championship was easily attainable, but suspensions and injuries spoiled that fairly quickly. Now, the best the Aggies can do is 9-9.

How to Watch

Date: Saturday, March 3
Time: 1 p.m. CST
Venue: Reed Arena
Location: College Station, TX
Watch: ESPN2
Steaming: WatchESPN

Keys to Victory

The Aggies lost the first game they played against Alabama this season in Birmingham thanks to three-point shooting – or lack thereof. Alabama shot 29.2 percent from three while A&M only shot 10.0 percent. The Aggies’ field goal percentage in that game was nearly 15 percent better (44.8 verses 30.4), but the lack of a deep threat hurt. The teams were about even on rebounding and turnovers.

The good news for Texas A&M is that the Aggies were missing both deep threats Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg due to injury and suspension in that first game. Having those two back this time around greatly improves the Aggies chances of winning. Tyler Davis led all A&M players in the first game with 14, and going inside to him and Robert Williams will be a big advantage for the Aggies.

Losing Duane Wilson hurt, but freshman point guard TJ Starks has really stepped up in his place and he’ll need to limit his freshman mistakes in order to give A&M a chance.

The Crimson Tide, of course, are led by freshman Collin Sexton. Sexton put up 16 points in the first meeting between these two teams. He is averaging 18.1 points per game in 2018.  6-foot-9 junior Donta Hall dropped 17 against the Aggies in that game, going 7-8 from three.

Finding a way to limit Sexton and Hall’s offensive production this time around will go a long way in getting the Aggies a win.

Next: Johnny Manziel's Top 10 plays at Texas A&M


Having Hogg and Guilder back is huge. The Aggies had no answer to Alabama’s deep threat in the first game. While you don’t want to live and die by the three, having players like Hogg and Guilder on the floor so you have the option is critical. If TJ Starks has another great game and the Aggies take advantage of their size on the inside I think the Aggies can get the win.

Texas A&M 68, Alabama 61

***all stats come from espn.com and sports-reference.com***