NCAA Basketball Picks: Grab The Points When Ole Miss Meets Texas A&M In SEC Play

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 2:54 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 2:54 PM GMT

A top 5 club in the polls just three weeks ago, Texas A&M has since nosedived. Join us for a preview and free NCAA basketball pick of the Tuesday tilt between the Aggies and Ole Miss.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Ole Miss +9
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

For a basketball program such as Texas A&M, it can be a very long and difficult climb to gain any national attention. Following a pretty good recruiting class last year to team with some solid players returning, the Aggies looked to finally be ready to make noise on the hoops scene a few weeks ago when they were ranked fifth in the country.

Yes, the climb to gain some national attention was indeed long and hard, but as the Aggies have found out since then, the fall from grace can be steep and fast. Since sitting 17-2 overall and 7-0 in SEC play, Texas A&M's lost five of six to practically play its way out of the battle for the regular season title and No. 1 seed that goes with it for the conference tournament.

The good news is there's still plenty of time for Billy Kennedy to get the Aggie ship righted and at least be playing with momentum when the SEC and NCAA Tournaments commence a little less than a month from now. A good step would be a strong showing Tuesday night at home opposite the Mississippi Rebels, the 9 PM (ET) tip to be carried by ESPNU.

Overnight lines at Bookmaker had the Ags by 9, but the early money seemed to be on Ole Miss. A 144 point total awaits those playing the scoreboard.

 

Home Wins & Covers The Series Story As SEC Rivals
There isn't a lot of hardwood history between these two with tonight's tangle just the sixth game ever. The last three encounters have come as conference opponents, this season marking the fourth straight Ole Miss and A&M are only scheduled once against each other on the regular season slate despite being aligned as West Division foes on the gridiron.

The Aggies won both matchups with the Rebels before they joined the SEC, and Mississippi has won two of the three since. As conference foes, the games have gone to the home teams, both on the floor and vs. the NCAA basketball odds. Ole Miss took last year's clash in Oxford, 69-59, as 5½ point chalk, the final never reaching the 135½ total.

The only SEC matchup played in College Station went to the Aggies who were 1½ point favorites two years ago at Reed Arena and came away with a 71-60 decision after the teams were deadlocked at the half. A&M's last seven points in that one came at the free throw line, sending the game just past a 130½ total.

 

Ole Miss Bringing Home Bacon Lately
Mississippi (16-9 straight up, 14-10 against the spread) is treading water in the middle of the SEC standings with a 6-6 record. The good news for the Rebels is that means they're only a game behind the 4th-place Aggies heading into the game, and fourth will get you a 2-round bye when the conference convenes in Nashville for the postseason bracket to see who gets an automatic bid to the NCAA's.

Andy Kennedy has his crew level after winning three of the last four, Ole Miss backers cashing winning tickets six of the last seven times out. The 76-60 victory at home last Saturday vs. Arkansas was particularly impressive; not only did the Rebels easily cover the 3 point spread, they did so after trailing by 11 midway through the first half.

Texas A&M (18-7 SU, 8-10-2 ATS) fell out of the AP following its latest loss, a 76-71 defeat in Baton Rouge to LSU as a 2 point road pup, but managed to cling to the No. 24 slot in the coaches poll. The setback was the fourth straight for Billy Kennedy's outfit, each a losing effort vs. the spread to leave Aggie backers 1-6 the last seven.

The Aggies are a dozen points better than Ole Miss on a neutral court, so -9 at home on Tuesday night should be a no-brainer. Still, my free NCAA basketball pick is taking the points.

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