Texas A&M Basketball Needs to Find Answers Quick as Tourney Hopes are Dwindling
Texas A&M basketball has been playing with fire this year. After a solid start to the non-conference schedule, including wins over Ohio State in Columbus and Iowa State on a neutral floor, it started to look like the Aggies had simply saved their trademark early-season missteps for the middle of the year instead.
A home loss to Memphis that hardly felt competitive and another to LSU that left fans dumbfounded were the worst offenses. They let games against Arkansas and Ole Miss slip away in the final moments (the only thing between them and a currently-unblemished Q2 record, by the way).
They failed to capitalize on a herculean comeback effort against Houston, losing by 4. Auburn was similarly able to pull away in the final moments.
The good news is that the Aggies got 2 wins on this recent homestand; the bad news is that, by all rights, they should have had 3. The aforementioned last-second loss to Ole Miss tarnished what should have been a relatively easy—and needed—stretch of 3 wins to build momentum.
These results have culminated in the Aggies tumbling down to 50th in the NET rankings, which had heretofore been their best argument for getting in the Big Dance. Their 13-8 (4-4) record certainly doesn't look impressive at the moment. A 1-2 record in Quad 3 games is dismaying.
The Aggies have a get-right game tomorrow on the road against the Missouri Tigers. Texas A&M basketball eked out a six-point win (which, to be fair, they controlled for the majority of the second half) against Mizzou in late January. They then return home to host the 6th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, who are not far removed from a home loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The win against the Iowa State Cyclones has been a huge feather in the cap of the Aggies thus far in the season, as has the victory over Kentucky. But as distance grows between those results and the current moment, this Texas A&M basketball squad still feels like it's searching for a signature win—especially as Kentucky slides in the rankings. They'll have a triumvirate of chances to get one over this next stretch (two games vs. Tennessee, one vs. Alabama).
Joe Lunardi currently has the Aggies as one of the last four byes in the field of 68. In other words, the Aggies' tournament hopes at this moment are balanced on a razor's edge.
If things don't shape up quick, however, there could be more than a tourney berth on the line. Every Aggie, including myself, wants Buzz Williams to succeed—but now in his fifth year, and boasting his most talented team yet in College Station, the results need to be better than what we have seen up until this point.