Texas A&M Basketball: 2017 NCAA Tournament Berth at Risk
Seeking their 14th NCAA Tournament appearance, Texas A&M Basketball has some work to do. After a rough start to conference play their March Madness chances are waning.
The coattails of last year’s sweet sixteen run look short, and after an 0-3 start to the SEC regular season; possibly even nonexistent. Bracketologists are wondering what happened to the team who completed, what is said to be, the Greatest Comeback in College Basketball History last year (TAMU vs. Northern Iowa). After a winless start to conference play, do the Ags have a shot at punching their ticket again this year?
What will it take?
21 wins. Hopefully, that is all. With sixteen games left in the regular season, not including the SEC Tournament, the Aggies are thirteen games shy of the 21-game win mark. Team Rankings projects 21-win teams have a 93.7% chance of punching their ticket come selection Sunday. So, can the Aggies do it? Will they be able to get their game together and make another run deep into the tournament?
The fate of a tournament berth relies on Wednesday’s game against LSU (9-5, 1-2 SEC). Tomorrow, the Aggies will put their 6-2 record in Reed Arena to the ultimate test. Taking a winless conference record into the game, this is a MUST WIN for the team to keep their NCAA tournament dreams alive. If the Aggies fail to execute, their only chance to punch their ticket would be an upset win over #10 West Virginia on January 28 or #6 Kentucky on March 4.
What about those tough losses?
Despite being currently ranked 14th out of 14 SEC teams based on conference record, the Aggies have put up great fights against nationally ranked ball clubs. These include, a 67-74 loss against No. 14 UCLA and a 63-67 loss against No. 19 Arizona.
Losing by single digits to these ranked teams may be the saving grace, and deciding factor, when the selection committee evaluates A&M’s report card. However, a win over West Virginia or Kentucky would be the icing on the cake.
So, there is a chance?
All in all, there is a chance for a tournament bid. A slim chance, but at least it is there. Technically speaking, Team Rankings gives A&M a 11.6% chance. Although not the best chance, it is one the team can work with to make a tournament bid feasible.
***Records provided by ESPN, Bracketology provided by Team Rankings***
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