Is the Texas A&M basketball team now a lock for the NCAA Tournament?

Buzz Williams, Texas A&M basketball Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Buzz Williams, Texas A&M basketball Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M basketball team has had as much of an up-and-down season as we’ve seen in recent memory in 2021-22.

After a handful of turnover in the offseason, the Aggies entered this season with no expectations whatsoever. A&M had a disappointing 8-10 record last year with a 2-8 SEC mark, landing them at second-to-last in the conference.

It didn’t matter — to start the year, the Aggies rocketed to a 15-2 start. They’d follow this with an eight-game losing streak which seemingly knocked the team out of NCAA Tournament contention. But just when you thought they were down and out, the Aggies caught fire, winning seven of their eight most recent games.

Did the Texas A&M basketball team’s win over Auburn just make them an NCAA Tournament lock?

Logically, the answer to the question above should be “yes.” Heck, I’d make the argument that A&M would be a top-25 team if the program had a more storied history or a bigger brand.

Look at Texas, which has lost to its last six ranked opponents and sits at 21-11. Not only are the Longhorns a lock for the NCAA Tournament — they’re ranked 22nd in the AP Poll. The two teams have nearly identical resumes. The truth of the matter is that politics matter in college basketball. And unfortunately for Texas A&M, they do not have the brand or history to receive the benefit of the doubt.

Thankfully, A&M has done everything in its power in this final stretch to make its case for the NCAA Tournament.

One of the major criticisms of the Aggies was a lack of ranked wins. Before knocking off No. 25 Alabama on March 2nd, A&M had zero ranked wins. They finally collected one and continued marching through teams like Mississippi State and Florida before showing up at No. 4 Auburn’s doorstep.

A&M won that game in convincing fashion, showing out defensively. The Aggies’ defense held Auburn to just 30% from the field on the night and 62 total points. Offensively, A&M didn’t light the scoreboard up, but they did just enough to win the game.

This brings me back to my original point — Texas A&M should be in the NCAA Tournament. If the committee selected 64 teams with biases completely aside, the Aggies would be an easy lock. But that’s not how things work.

Look at ESPN, who has A&M on the bubble under “next four out,” meaning they’re one of the first eight teams that will be left out of the tournament. There will be more updated bracketology to come, but don’t expect the Aggies to be fully in many of these projections.

Next. The numbers behind A&M's win over No. 4 Auburn. dark

Unfortunately, the Aggies are going to be sweating this one out.