Texas Aggies Heading to Big Dance

For those of you who are like me when it comes to college basketball… it’s basketball season again. Now that we have entered into the month of March, it’s time to look at our favorite teams and see if they will make the Big Dance, and where they will place in it. I checked in on my Texas Aggies a month or so, and noticed they were coming off of a 3-game losing streak. For some reason, I thought that meant they would not make the Big Dance, but lo and behold, here we are on the verge of the Conference Tournament and they are a lock for the NCAA Tournament with a 23-7 record and ranked 24th in the nation.

This makes the previous qualifying rounds of the season all worth it. For a while, I was afraid they wouldn’t make the tournament, but once again, they rose to the occasion and played above their ability. According to Beergut, the official source for Timothy Matters when it comes to Texas Aggies’ Sports, they were picked to place sixth in the conference. They are now third in the conference. That is better than anyone gave them in the preseason. Now, that doesn’t mean they will win the National Championship. But one can hope that they get deeper into the tournament than they did last year.

My hopes for the Aggies?

Simple, get at least to the Elite 8. That would be a season that would rise well above expectations. Now some might say, “Timothy, this is why the Aggies never win the entire tournament. They don’t expect to win.” Let’s face it. The only teams that can really “expect” to win are the top four seeds. Anyone else that makes it, truly is a long shot. The winner of the tournament is not going to be a team ranked 10th or lower. Your 5-9 ranked teams might have a shot, but not the kind of shots that the top four teams have. The reason they are ranked in the Top 4 is because they are that good. Right now that is Ohio State, Kansas, Brigham Young and Duke. BYU is highly overrated, but the other three teams are not. Throw in Pittsburgh, Purdue, texas, Notre Dame, San Diego State (overrated), and Wisconsin and you have a list of teams that have a really good shot of winning it all.

I just don’t want to go into March Madness with unrealistic expectations. To make it to the Elite 8 in the tournament would be a great accomplishment and really help in the recruiting wars. To build a great team takes years and I think the Aggies are in the process of doing that. They need to keep building on the tradition of making it to the Tournament every year, and bring in top rated recruits year in and year out. That is how great programs are built. After all, teams like Duke were not built in a day. It took them years of doing so. Not that A&M will be on the same level, but to even compete you have to build in years you are not expected to do well, and A&M did that.

Here is more of what Beergut had to say over at The 12th Man:

I went back and looked at the preseason predictions for this team, as picked by the conference coaches, and reminded myself that we were picked to finish sixth overall in conference among 12 teams. We were picked just behind Missouri (who did finish the season in 6th place, going 8-8 in conference play), and just ahead of Texas Tech (who ended up 11th in conference after a 5-11 record in conference play). I looked back at the preseason predictions just to reminds myself of how far this team has come this basketball season, and we’re not anywhere close to done yet, with a conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament still yet to be determined.

With our 66-54 victory over Texas Tech Saturday, we locked up third place in the Big 12 Conference, a #3 seed and first round bye in the conference tournament, and cemented our place in the Big Dance (when we won 9 conference games, we became a lock for the NCAA Tournament). The Aggies will face the winner of the Texas Tech/Misouri game on Wednesday in the second round of the conference tournament Thursday night.

Here is the most recent AP Top 25:

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Ohio State (45) 27-2 1,602
2 Kansas (14) 27-2 1,554
3 Brigham Young (5) 27-2 1,460
4 Duke (1) 26-3 1,380
4 Pittsburgh 25-4 1,380
6 Purdue 24-5 1,305
7 Texas 24-5 1,216
8 Notre Dame 23-5 1,173
9 San Diego State 27-2 1,151
10 Wisconsin 22-6 1,040
11 Louisville 22-7 937
12 Syracuse 24-6 898
13 North Carolina 22-6 797
14 Florida 22-6 688
15 St. John’s 19-9 651
16 Connecticut 21-7 643
17 Georgetown 21-8 559
18 Arizona 23-6 404
19 Villanova 21-8 382
20 Kentucky 20-8 335
21 Vanderbilt 21-7 330
22 Missouri 22-7 261
23 Xavier 22-6 246
24 Texas A&M 22-6 178
25 Utah State 26-3 129
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