There are only
four teams left standing in the Big XII Tournament, and the two from the Lone
Star State meet up for the third time this season when the Texas Longhorns face
the Texas A&M Aggies.
Tipoff is set for
approximately 9:30 ET on Friday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.
Horns Feeling the Heat
If Head Coach Rick
Barnes and company think that his team is going to end up as a No. 1 seed in
the NCAA Tournament, this is a game that has to be won. Fortunately, the
argument could be made that this team is back on track after absolutely
obliterating the Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday, but this is clearly a different
type of a challenge against an NCAA Tournament team, the caliber of which it
hasn't beaten since beating these Aggies on the road on January 31.
Thompson and Jordan Hamilton once again proved that they were amongst the elite
in this conference, as they both logged double-doubles against OU. Hamilton had
22 points and 10 boards, while Thompson had 13 points and dragged in 11
rebounds. When you get production like that from your bigs, your defense can be
a little spotty, but this is something that Texas hasn't let down with this
year. UT averages allowing just 60.8 PPG this season, and it ranks in the Top 5
in both opposing shooting percentage (37.9%) and opposing three point shooting
Keeping Up With Khris
Khris Middleton is
normally the heart and soul of this team, as he is the Texas A&M Aggies' leading scorer
at 14.1 PPG. However, this quarterfinal victory over the Missouri Tigers was
thanks to all of his friends.
David Loubeau had
20 points, while BJ Holmes also dropped in 20. Nathan Walkup had 16. These four
players for Texas A&M are all capable of big time games, as all four are
averaging at least 9.6 PPG.
All of that gets
parlayed with a defense that is allowing just 60.7 PPG. This is the real
equation that has helped this team with 24 games thus far this season, and why
the Aggies are going to be a great seed in the NCAA Tournament and might still
have more to accomplish here in Kansas City.
Stacking Up the Big XII Tournament Odds
The Aggies have
now covered four of their last five games, but Texas has covered 15 of its last
21 overall as well. These two teams both play particularly well on neutral
courts. The Texas Longhorns have beaten the NCAA basketball odds in four straight on
neutral hardwood, while A&M is a far more impressive 24-10 ATS in its last
34 in this situation, with a lot of that damage coming at the Big XII Tournament.
A&M To Get Revenge
We know that Texas
whooped up on these Aggies twice this season, winning 81-60 at home and 69-49
on the road. However, we have to remember that A&M is 12-5-1 ATS over the
course of the last 18 in this series, and that's the trend that we are going to
go with on Friday. The Aggies march on to the finale in this tournament on