Instant reaction: Texas A&M basketball suffers devastating buzzer-beater loss

Stop me if you've heard this before, but Texas A&M basketball just dropped a game they had no business losing.

Feb 13, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores forward Ven-Allen Lubin (2) attempts
Feb 13, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores forward Ven-Allen Lubin (2) attempts / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Washington's herculean defensive effort, Texas A&M basketball falls in final second at Vandy

It was almost too perfect an analogue for Texas A&M basketball. Just like against Arkansas, they had taken a lead on a clutch play by one of the two dynamic backcourt members in Maroon and White. And just like against Arkansas, their opponent, who should have been overmatched, dribbled the ball up the court and tossed in an improbable shot to win the game.

Now, let's be fair here. By skill and results thus far, this is a far more overmatched opponent than was Arkansas. And also, in fairness, that was a much more difficult make than Tramon Mark had in the game against the Hogs. Solomon Washington and Andersson Garcia did what they could to disrupt it, even initially blocking it.

That should have been the capper to what was, up until that point, a masterful performance by Washington. He, in the previous possession, had switched from guarding a guy in the lane out onto the perimeter to swat away a three-point attempt.

That's a degree of difficulty that's tough to describe. There are not many NBA players who can make a play like that. And that's the level of defense he had been playing on the night; sadly, the rest of the team couldn't match him.

There were flashes from Garcia, Radford, and others. But far too often, mimicking the early parts of the season, we saw three-point shooters left wide open, with the Commodores taking full advantage.

The frustrating thing is that most Aggie fans thought this Texas A&M basketball team had moved past this. After two blowout wins—one over an overmatched Mizzou squad and one over a top-10 Tennessee team—it seemed like the team had turned a corner.

Instead, they let the Commodores hang around. And hang around. And hang around. And late in the game, it seemed like the Aggies were going to pull it out, but they had left that door hanging open for too long, leading to the improbable shot at the end.

You can hope for an escape in those moments; that your team will step up and make the shot. But even if they do, sometimes the other guy does as well.

I'll have more tomorrow on how this impacts the team going forward and their tournament chances, but suffice it to say that all the ground they gained by beating the Vols has immediately been ceded right back. They're not dead yet, but they're on thin ice.