Texas A&M Basketball: Assessing the Aggies’ path to the Final Four

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M basketball has made the tournament for the second time in three years. Do they have a shot at making the Final Four in a wide open field?

Billy Kennedy and the Texas A&M basketball team made a somewhat miraculous run to the Sweet 16 in 2016. They were the top seed in their section of the bracket as the 3 seed, but it took a crazy comeback against Northern Iowa to get them there.

They eventually lost to No. 2 seed Oklahoma in the Regional Semifinal 77-63.

All season long, we’ve heard college basketball experts talk about how wide open the field is and there isn’t a truly dominant favorite to win the tournament. We saw that manifest in the fact that Kansas earned a No. 1 seed with seven losses.

So, one might surmise a team from a loaded conference that played through a tough schedule could make a run to the Final Four in an overall weak field.

Unfortunately for Texas A&M, that road is quite bumpy.

They open up against Providence, who are about as experienced as they come. For more on the Friars, check out the early scouting report on them here. Many are saying they are the best 10 seed in the tournament. They’ve made the tournament five years in a row now and are battle tested having played in the Big East.

Providence is well-coached and experienced. They have three senior starters and are a good defensive team. They rank in the top 60 in steals and top 100 in rebounding and blocks. The Ags should not take them lightly.

Should they make it past Providence, their likely “Third Round” matchup will be with defending champion North Carolina…in Charlotte, NC. It would be a de facto home game for the Tar Heels and could be a decided advantage.

UNC finished 25-10 in the rough and tumble ACC, which sent nine teams to the tournament, and lost to Virginia — the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed — in the ACC Conference Championship.

It’s true they’ve shown they can be beaten, but North Carolina will be motivated to defend their title.

After these two matchups, who A&M would play in the Sweet 16 is anyone’s guess, but Michigan looks like the favorite to come out of the “Third Round” after winning the Big 10 Conference Tournament.

The Wolverines boast four top 10 wins on their résumé and are one of the hottest teams entering the tournament. They haven’t lost since a nine-point road loss to Northwestern on Feb 6.

Michigan is as well-coached as both of the previously discussed teams and also battled tested coming from the Big 10. Nothing will surprise them.

All of this says nothing about the potential Regional Final matchup, which could be any one from Xavier, Missouri, Florida State, Ohio State or Gonzaga, each of which would present their own challenge.

Next: How far does Billy Kennedy need to go to keep his job?

In a word: the Texas A&M basketball’s path Final Four path is hard, and maybe the toughest of the No. 7 seeds.

Jeff Shull is a Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.