Texas A&M Basketball: Postgame player grades vs North Carolina

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M basketball played exactly how you have to play to beat North Carolina, and they did just that to stay alive in the NCAA Tournament.

As improbable as it may have seemed on paper, the Texas A&M basketball team defeated the defending champion North Carolina Tar Heels in Charlotte, NC by a final score of 86-65. It was only the second time UNC has lost a NCAA Tournament game in the state of North Carolina in 34 previous tries.

The game was never close after A&M went on a ridiculous 29-8 run to end the first half and took a 14 point halftime lead. They came out on fire and stretched the lead to 20 in the first couple of minutes in the second half. North Carolina could not hit their outside shots which hindered any chance of a comeback.

Here are the grades following the Aggies’ dominant win (hint, it’s all good).

The Backcourt

TJ Starks was good Starks for most of this game, which was evident from the get go. He wasn’t trying to do too much and he seemed to learn from his mistakes in the win over Providence.

He was calm, cool and collected and it showed in the box score. He led the Aggies with 21 points on 7-for-15 shooting. He also led all Aggies with five assists.

The only issue for Starks was he had five turnovers, which makes 11 in the first two games of the tournament. He has to cut down the mistakes if the Aggies hope to keep moving on.

FINAL STAT LINE: 7-for-15, 21 points, five assists, three rebounds, five turnovers

Once again, Gilder proved his tournament experience was an asset and he played very well on both ends of the court. He was one of four Aggies in double figures and once again scored above his season per game average.

He was also very good on defense, helping slow down Joel Berry II who struggled from the field all game. Berry had 21 points, but he needed 17 shots to get it and finished 2-for-10 from three point land.

FINAL STAT LINE: 5-for-11, 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal, one turnover