Texas A&M basketball faces must-win, revenge opportunity against Arkansas

Texas A&M basketball really needs a win on Tuesday.

Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. (3) drives to the basket past Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4)
Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. (3) drives to the basket past Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA
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Texas A&M basketball in dire need of momentum ahead of Tuesday matchup vs. Arkansas

Twice this season has this Texas A&M basketball team lost on last-second shots; both times, it was in a Quad 3 game. The first time, it was to Arkansas; the second, to Vanderbilt.

The Aggies will not get a chance to avenge their loss to the Commodores, which was by far the more egregious of the two. But tomorrow, in the friendly confines of Reed Arena, they will get a chance to even the score with the Razorbacks. And they had better do so, if they wish to get things back on track in any measure.

Arkansas has been a consummate disappointment this year. Coming into the season highly-rated, the Hogs have fallen far short of any expectation they bore in the preseason. A talented roster has failed to even be the sum of its parts, much less exceed it.

And yet, they remain talented. The individual ability flashed in the first game against the Aggies, almost more brightly and more often than it has in any other game Arkansas has played all year. There’s enough skill on this Arkansas roster to get you a win here and there, even if the underlying issues still go unresolved.

That is a predicament with which Texas A&M football fans are too familiar, of course—the story of Jimbo Fisher’s last two years with the program was the failure of the immense talent he had accrued to coalesce into a whole team. Something similar may be happening with Musselman’s squad up in Fayetteville.

Whether or not things end the same way for Muss that they did for Jimbo, the present problem for the Aggies is not insignificant. This will be a matchup that the Hogs come into with confidence, given how they were able to play in stretches during the previous matchup. It took a herculean effort from Taylor in the first game for the Aggies to even have a chance (though Tyrece Radford, still working his way back from an absence, was mostly a non-factor in that contest).

This is a win the Aggies need. It is a win they should get. But that hasn’t been a guarantee for this Texas A&M basketball team at any point this year.

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