Texas A&M Basketball: Is the NCAA Tournament still a realistic goal?

Marcus Williams, Texas A&M Basketball Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Williams, Texas A&M Basketball Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

Rewind to January 17th for a moment. The Texas A&M basketball team is coming off of its eighth straight win, including victories over now-18th-ranked-Arkansas and a handful of other formidable opponents. The Aggies were not ranked in that week’s AP Poll but Buzz Williams’ squad received votes — something that hadn’t happened for this team in years.

Hopes were high and it looked like Williams’ offseason overhaul was paying off sooner than expected. The Texas A&M basketball team was 15-2. Heck, a couple of days later, A&M would fight to the end against a top ten Kentucky team, making it look like they were a true contender in the SEC and an NCAA Tournament lock.

Unfortunately, the Aggies would follow this loss with seven more, matching their eight-game winning streak with an immediate eight-game losing streak. There weren’t any truly horrific losses and A&M put up a fight against more than a handful of highly-ranked SEC teams. Still, their NCAA Tournament hopes might be in jeopardy.

Is the NCAA Tournament still a realistic goal for the Texas A&M basketball team?

The short answer here is yes. That said, it’s complicated.

In my opinion, the evaluation process for each team to make the NCAA Tournament is extremely flawed. As things stand, A&M won’t even be considered a bubble team even though they probably should be.

The Aggies don’t have any terrible losses. In fact, the Texas A&M basketball team might have more good losses than anybody in the country. By saying this, I mean that they’ve played every strong opponent extremely tight, losing to each of the following teams by ten points or fewer.

  • No. 18 Arkansas
  • No. 6 Kentucky
  • No. 18 Arkansas
  • No. 17 Tennessee

Still, losses are losses. As things stand, A&M is in 10th place in the SEC — a position that doesn’t normally allow you to make the NCAA Tournament. That said, they should absolutely have their sights set on the big dance, as they’re still in a position to make a late run.

With just three games left, A&M would virtually have to win out and make a statement in the SEC Tournament at the end of the season if they want to be considered for the NCAA Tournament. With games against Ole Miss, 24th-ranked Alabama, and Mississippi State, this shouldn’t be out of the question.

Sometimes you just have to be a hot team at the right time. If the Aggies were to find a way to knock off a squad like Auburn or Kentucky in the SEC Tournament, they might have a chance to sneak into the big dance.

Next. Everything that went right in win over Georgia. dark

A ranked win would go a long way.