Friday, March 20, 2009

UConn Preview - 2:35 Central Time - CBS

The Aggies take on the mighty UConn Huskies tomorrow in 2nd round action from Philadelphia. Attached you will find our full breakdown of the matchups in the game.

I show the Aggies losing a close game here, but I want the record to reflect that I certainly will not be surprised if the Aggies upset the Huskies. UConn is clearly the better team and it's really not even close. I just think that the Aggies present some interesting problems for UConn. The team that had the most success against Jim Calhoun's bunch this year was PItt behind their dominant big man and two really good guards. The Aggies have some bodies to throw at UConn on the defensive end and if they can manage to knock down a few shots they can certainly hang around and give themselves a shot. I think Roland for sure, and to a lesser extent any combination of Sloan/Harris/Holmes will be enough to keep the UConn perimeter players on edge for most of the game.

Jay Bilas (ESPN & CBS) who will be calling the game tomorrow has said through multiple media outlets this week that he thinks that Mark Turgeon's motion offense, which relies heavily on ball-screens will cause UConn some major problems. His basis for this is that Turgeon uses his big men to step out and set screens for the guards when they have the biscuit in their hands. Doing so will cause Hasheem Thabeet to have to step out of the lane, thus opening up more channels for the Aggies to seek a path to the basket.

One other thing to keep an eye on is that UConn basically has 6 guys that take up a great portion of their minutes/production. For the most part they have zero bench. The Aggies on the other hand have 7 guys that could start and then another 2 that can come off the bench and produce at a high level.

One final quote from Donald Sloan I want you guys to hear - I love reading these kinds of things in the paper:
"Well, you know, like coach said, we came here to win two. It's all fine and dandy that we do have one right now. But we won't lose our focus. Just to get one, that's not good enough. That's not what we came here for."

Anyway, take a look at the attached PDF for our full breakdown and score prediction.

It should be a heck of a game tomorrow - I hope you all can find time to watch. Wouldn't it be something if the Aggies can be the first team to send shockwaves through the bracket.

Beat The Hell Outta UConn.

Carry on.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Aggies Stomp BYU - UConn Up Next!

Well, well, well - Look who has won their 4th straight opening round NCAA tournament game!!!! By crushing BYU the Aggies remained in a very select group of teams who have won at least one game each of the last 4 years. This time, they left little doubt from the opening tipoff. The Aggies made their first 10 field goal attempts and stormed out to a 26-8 lead and absolutely overwhelmed BYU en route to the 79-66 win.

The Aggies only trailed once at 0-3 before stepping on the throttle for the next 39+ minutes. The charge was lead by Bryan Davis who had a monster day in scoring 21 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Four other Aggies managed to score in double digits as well (Carter 10, Roland 10, Sloan 14 and Holmes 10).

The Aggies were awesome on the defensive end forcing BYU to shoot a well-below average 39% from the field. They also held BYU sharpshooter Jonathan Tavernari to only 9 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Finally, you can't ignore the fact that only 6 players from BYU managed to score against the Aggies. That's pretty darn strong.

It was great to see the Aggies come out and throw down for 40 minutes and put together a complete game on the big stage.

Up next for the Aggies are the mighty UConn Huskies on Saturday afternoon. I'll drop a couple of links for you guys below and let you read more about the BYU win. I have to get started tonight on breaking down the UConn game for you guys. Tipoff time has not yet been announced by CBS for the game on Saturday. For entertainment purposes, the Aggies are listed as 10 point underdogs to UConn.

Brent Zwerneman's article can be found here:

The AP article can be found here:

A good read/blog from

Carry on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BYU Preview - 11:30am CBS

OK - Attached is our preview of tomorrow's BYU game.

Do you have a score prediction? Let us know, post it as a comment on the blog.

Outside of the attached PDF file - I want to give you two thoughts.

1.) Why BYU will win:

BYU will beat the Aggies because the Cougars' top three players (Fredette, Cummard and Tavernari) are bettter than the Aggies' top three players (Carter, Sloan and Davis)

2.) Why Texas A&M will win:

Texas A&M will win because the Aggies' top 8 players (Carter, Sloan, Roland, Elonu, Davis, Harris, Holmes and Loubeau) are better than the Cougars' best 8 players.

BYU has no bench whatsoever and if the Aggies can force pressure on Fredette, Cummard and Tavernari it will be a good day for the Maroon and White.

I can't wait for tomorrow!!!!!!

Here's to hoping we have some good things to say tomorrow after lunchtime.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Mar. 16 Poll Submission

1 Louisville
2 Memphis
3 Pittsburgh
4 Connecticut
5 North Carolina
6 Duke
7 Villanova
8 Missouri
9 Michigan St.
10 Wake Forest
11 Kansas
12 Washington
13 Oklahoma
14 Syracuse
15 Purdue
16 Gonzaga
18 Florida St.
19 Clemson
20 Marquette
21 Louisiana St.
22 Butler
23 Arizona St.
24 Xavier
25 Utah

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Aggies To Face BYU In The 1st Round

The Aggies enter the 2009 NCAA Tournament as a 9 seed in the West region (game played in Philadelphia) where they will face BYU (for the 2nd straight year) in their first round game on Thursday. The game time will be announced Sunday night / Monday morning. If they can manage to beat BYU they will likely play UConn as they are the 1 seed on the same side of the bracket.

BYU finished the year with a 25-7 record overall and 12-4 in the Mountain West conference. BYU's worst losses were to UNLV (twice) and San Diego State. Their best win was over Utah. Their resume is fairly strong, but their best non-conference win was over either Utah State or Tulsa. My initial thought is that I like the round 1 matchup, but I hate being on the same side as UConn. Let's hope that they can get past BYU and facing UConn would be a nice problem to have.

I do find it very odd that the committee put A&M and BYU head-to-head in consecutive years.

We will have a full preview of the game for you this week and we'll breakdown each of the individual matchups.

The Aggies are only one of just eight schools (Georgetown / Memphis / North Carolina / Pittsburgh / Tennessee / Texas / Texas A&M / UCLA) that have advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons, and they will look to keep that string alive this year if they can get past BYU.

Other teams from the Big 12 that were awarded bids today were:
Oklahoma State (8) vs. Tennessee (9)
Texas (7) vs. Minnesota (10)
Missouri (3) vs. Cornell (14)
Oklahoma (2) vs. Morgan State (15)
Kansas (3) vs. North Dakota State (14)
Can you believe that the Aggies are playing in their 4th consecutive NCAA tournament?


OK - We'll have much more for you before Thursday.

Carry on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Semifinal Update + Baylor Impact

Here are a couple of quick notes from yesterday's semifinal games + what a potential win by Baylor would mean.

Baylor vs. Texas
The Baylor Bears kept their miracle run alive by taking down the UT Longhorns yesterday by a final score of 76-70. The Bears were down 33-39 at the break but came out and took it right at Rick Barnes' team and outpaced them 43-31 in the second half. The game was pretty tight up until about the 2:00 mark when Baylor started to put the game away.

Baylor beat UT for only the first time in their last 25 games and the win puts the #9 seeded team in a position to win the tournament for the first time ever. On a sidenote - Baylor has won 3 games in 3 days; it took them their 13 previous games to win 3 as they finished the conference slate going 3-10 over those last 13 games.

Baylor was led by Kevin Rogers 20 points while Henry Dugat added 17 off the bench. A.J. Abrams led the Longhorns with 20 points.

Missouri vs. Oklahoma State
The Tigers and Cowboys put on a horrible display shooting the basketball last night as both teams combined to go 10-for-55 from behind the three point arc. In the end, Missouri was able to put away the Pokes by a final score of 67-59 to advance to today's final game vs. Baylor.

OSU was slowed down in the first half by Byron Eaton's ankle injury (he did return after halftime) and James Anderson's foul trouble in the 2nd half. Missouri, who also did not play well, at all, was able to make a few shots down the stretch and put the game on ice.

OSU was led by James Anderson's 20 points and 9 rebounds. Missouri was led by Zaire Taylor who scored 19.

Baylor Impact
Easily the question I was asked more than anything since Baylor's stunning win over Texas was "If Baylor wins, do they take the Aggies' spot?" The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. The Big 12 does not have a finite number of spots and they are a lock to get at least 6 teams in (Kansas, OU, Missouri, Texas, OSU, Texas A&M). If Baylor upsets Missouri tonight, Baylor will take a spot from one of those "last 4 in" type of teams. It's not as if the committee will take the Aggies and drop them past 8 or 9 less deserving teams in favor of Baylor's automatic-bid status. They will take one of the final teams to squeak in (Maryland, Creighton, St. Mary's, San Diego State) and pull them back out and put Baylor into their place. It would be wild if Baylor pulls the upset and the league does end up getting 7 teams in.

OK - That's it for now. The Bears and Tigers play in the championship game today at 5:00 from the Ford Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and I'm sure if you wanted to go, you could walk up to the arena and pay $5 to sit anywhere you wanted.

Happy Saturday.

Carry on .

Friday, March 13, 2009

Final Thoughts From Tech Meltdown

Here are my final thoughts from the Tech game. I am going to set this up in a "Questions I Would Like To Ask Mark Turgeon" format.

1.) Coach, why did you not double (or triple) team Mike Singletary at any point in the 2nd half?
2.) Coach, why did you not order a couple of HARD fouls to disrupt Singletary's rhythm?
3.) Coach, why has your team given up a combined 116 points in the 2nd halves of the last two games?
4.) Coach, why did you not take Junior Elonu out of the game at the 4:36 mark when he picked up his 4th foul?
5.) Coach, why did you not take BJ Holmes out of the game at the 3:17 mark when he picked up his 4th foul?
6.) Coach, with regards to questions 4 and 5 - what is your policy on offensive/defensive substitutions?

OK, look, things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem, and I'm clearly picking on Turgeon because he's an easy target. His players are partially to blame as well for some of what happened on Wednesday night. As Jerry Bluhm points out, Turgeon can yell and scream at them all he wants, but it's primarily the players' fault when they get complacent in games where they have a big lead (see question #3 above).

Anyway, I'm glad that Baylor and OSU gave people something else to talk about in OKC besides the embarrassment of Mike Singletary; fortunately it was a pretty short-lived storyline.

I think Mark Turgeon is doing just fine in College Station. I don't think he's great (yet), but he's certainly not letting the program regress under his tutelage either.

OK - I'll have a full look at the Aggies' first round NCAA opponent on Sunday night.

Carry on.

Quick Tournament Update

OK - Sorry I did not send out updates yesterday; the hotel lost their internet service and I had no way to fire up the database otherwise.

Here a few thoughts on the last couple day's worth of games.

Baylor vs. Kansas
Goodness gracious, never in a million years did I think that we would see the day where Baylor would take it to a team as strong as Kansas for 40 minutes. From the opening tip, Baylor came out and controlled nearly every single aspect of the game. The mighty Bears jumped out to a 30-13 lead before KU went on a huge run to only be down 37-33 at the halftime break.

In the 2nd half, KU kept on pluggin' away and actually pulled ahead to a 58-53 lead, a point at which just about everyone in the arena began to think the game was over. That was, everyone except the Baylor Bears. Baylor went on an 18-6 closing run to become the first ever 9 seed to advance to today's semifinals.

The game was wildly entertaining as just about everyone in the arena not wearing blue/red was rooting for Baylor to pull the upset.

LaceDarius Dunn led baylor with 24 points and 6 rebounds. Sherron Collins led Kansas with 16 points despite going 6-for-20 from the field.

Texas vs. Kansas State
For the most part, this was a terrible basketball game as Texas finally held on at the end to win by a final score of 61-58. Dexter Pittman was simply outstanding for the 2nd day in a row in scoring 19 points and 20 rebounds for Rick Barnes. Jacob Pullen led K-State with 21 points, but it was all for naught as K-State has for sure lost any hope of making it to the NCAA tournament.

Texas will face Baylor today in the first semifinal at 6:00.

The evening session got off with a bang as OSU and OU put on a heck of a show in front of a packed Ford Center crowd (which was split just about 50/50 by the way).

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
In what can only be described as a brutal 12 round prize fight, the Cowboys and Sooners put on the best show I can remember in a long time at this tournament. The lead changed hands 7 times (5 times in the last 5 mintues), and the game featured 9 ties. The arena was split 50/50 and both fan bases roared to near deafening levels throughout most of the entire game.

James Anderson hit two free-throws for the Cowboys to secure the 71-70 win, and OSU has also now essentially secured an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Blake Griffin (and his parents) were sent packing from the Ford Center, and I am looking forward to him moving on to the NBA. Griffin had 17 points and 19 rebounds.

Byron Eaton led 5 Cowboys in double digits with 16 points.

Missouri vs. Texas Tech
Bye bye dirt monkeys. Have fun in Lubbock. Missouri wins 81-60.

Missouri and Oklahoma State meet in today's second semifinal game which tips at 8:30.

OK - We'll have one more update for you guys tomorrow.

Hope you all had a good week.

Carry on.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

......more tomorrow

I am not going to say a bunch of stuff I am going to regret tomorrow, so I will give you my full thoughts then.

I will leave you with this one thought.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Aggies are still a lock to get an invite to the NCAA Tournament next week. Their RPI after the loss to Tech is still 34 (down from 29), so in the grand scheme of things, the loss to Tech, while tough to stomach as the fans of this team, is not that damaging. In all likelihood, the only impact will be that they will fall from a team that was looking at a 8/9 seed to now looking at an 11/12 seed.

I'm just as sick as you guys that stuck around and stayed awake to watch one Texas Tech bench player single-handedly beat the Aggies, but I'm sure on Sunday we will all be thinking "super sweet" when we hear the Greg Gumbel call the Aggies name.

I'll talk to you guys in the moring, I'm going to go try and get Mike Singletary's ugly mug out of my mind.

For those that need one more kick in the gut, here is the AP recap:

Carry on.

Big 12 Tournament - Session 1 Update

A couple of quick thoughts from the first two games today.

Both games were pretty uneventful and for the most part pretty boring.

Baylor took care of Nebraska by a final score of 65-49. Baylor did not play that great, but Nebraska was for the most part just horrible. Baylor was led by Curtis Jerrells (19 points, 6 rebounds) and LaceDarius Dunn (18 points, 8 rebounds). Ade Dagunduro led Nebraska with 21 points. Honestly, we were all relieved when Nebraska got to the 30 point mark.

Baylor takes on the top seeded Kansas Jayhawks tomorrow morning at 11:30 am.

In the second game of the day, Texas just kind of drifted through the afternoon and sleptwalk to a 67-56 victory behind the strength of Dexter Pittman's 26 points and 10 rebounds. Colorado gave a good effort, but they are just bad, there is no nice way to go about it. A guy from Colorado actually fell down just simply running down the floor. Go Buffs!!!! Texas did not play that well, but I can't blame them, what a tough game to get up for.

Texas will take on Kansas State tomorrow at 2:30.

Get excited!!!

Don't forget - the Aggies take on Tech tonight at 8:30. I'm starting to get a bad feeling about that game for some reason. Who knows.

OK - Happy Wednesday - We'll have another note for you guys later tonight.

Carry on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Put On Your Dancin' Shoes!!! / Big 12 Tournament Up Next

Well, well, well…..look what a 6 game winning streak does. On Saturday afternoon at the BBOTB, the Aggies came out and completely dominated the 12th ranked Missouri Tigers. The 96-86 victory has for all intents and purposes secured the Aggies’ 4th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

In the first half, A&M was so overwhelming and so dominant in jumping out to a 51-29 lead that there was not a single team in college basketball that would have led the Aggies at the break. With every made basket or defensive stop, the crowd of over 13,000 roared louder and louder, and absolutely contributed in helping to put the Aggies in such a commanding position.

It was also awesome to see guys like Holmes, Walkup, Harris and Loubeau play such a major role off the bench in the first half.

Shortly after the break, Missouri started to make a run, but there was simply nothing that was going to stop the Aggies on the day we got to say goodbye and one last thank you to Josh Carter. On a side note, it felt like it took about 5 minutes for the PA announcer to read off Carter’s list of accomplishments in the Senior Day ceremony before the game. Carter will not only leave A&M as the winningest player in school history (97 career wins), but he will also be the first Aggie to ever play in 4 straight NCAA tournaments.

Anyhow, back to the second half where the Aggies gave up a disappointing 54 points to Missouri, but with that being said, it was great to see the Aggies once again bow up, take Missouri’s best punch and still win going away by 10 points. On the inside, the Aggies completely manhandled DeMarre Carroll and the other Missouri big men. While on the perimeter, Harris, Sloan and Holmes were nearly flawless on every possession, helping break the relentless Missouri full court press.

Ok, I feel like I could go on and on and on, but we’ll just let the good times from last Saturday linger in our minds a little longer.

As we concluded league play, the Aggies wound up in a 4-way tie for fourth place in the Big XII at 9-7 with K-State, Texas and OSU. The way the tie breaker fell, seeding for the Big XII tournament is as follows:

4.) K-State
5.) Texas
6.) Texas A&M
7.) OSU

The Aggies will take on Pat Knight and the Red Raiders at approximately 8:30 Wednesday night at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. It’s always very difficult to beat a team 3 times in a season, and while on paper A&M is clearly better, my guess is that they will be in for a dogfight. One other thing to keep an eye on is that Josh Carter has junked-up ankle and will have zero practice time since the Missouri game. He is officially listed as questionable, but it is expected he will answer the bell.

Aggie Hoops Report Score Prediction
Texas Tech 68

Texas A&M 75

We’re making our annual pilgrimage to the tournament and hope to have daily updates available for you guys covering all 11 games.

Coaches and players can’t afford to look ahead, but we as fans can. If the Aggies manage to get by Texas Tech, an immediate rematch with the Missouri Tigers awaits on Thursday night at 8:30 (ESPN2).

Complete information, including a full bracket with matchups, game times and tv slots can be found here:

A great majority of the games are on the Big XII network (formerly ESPN+) and can be seen on bootleg 51 in Houston, readers in Dallas; you have a conflict with the Mavs, no idea where you can find the game, check your guide.

The Big XII looks poised to get 6 teams into the Big Dance (OU, KU, Missouri, Texas, OSU and A&M), and it should be fun to watch everything unfold between now and Selection Sunday. Hopefully the Aggies will not draw a dreaded 8/9 slot and face a potential second round game against a #1 seed. That being said, last year it almost worked out just fine because they had #1 seed UCLA on the ropes for 39 minutes. Although I’m not sure you want to press your luck two years in a row.

OK Guys – Let’s hope they can keep the good times rolling.

Carry on.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Iowa State Thumpin' / Colorado Tonight! 8:00 ESPN-U

Colorado Preview
Hey guys – a quick note about tonight’s game at Colorado, the Wednesday night “DO NOT SCREW THIS UP” special – live from Boulder at 8:00 on ESPN-U and

The Aggies will be looking to keep their streak toward March Madness alive with a trap-game in Boulder tonight against the 9-19 Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs are sporting a league worst 1-13 conference record and have lost 9 in a row. (Would I be setting up a good JINX situation if I told you that they have not lost 10 in a row since losing 17 straight to end the 1985-86 season?) Don’t shoot me, I am just giving you some facts.

One thing to keep an eye on tonight is Colorado’s starting point guard, freshman Nate Tomlinson. He has missed the last 2 games (OSU and Baylor) with concussion symptoms. It is uncertain if he is going to play tonight. Before missing 2 straight, Tomlinson had started every game this year for Jeff Bzdelik’s group.

The Aggies will be looking to make it 5 in a row and will need for Josh Carter to stay red-hot if they hope to go up to Colorado and handle their business. Carter has made 14 of his last 19 three point attempts and will be starting his 100th game in an Aggie uniform.

Don’t for one second think that the Aggies can just waltz into the Coors Event Center and show up and win. CU has taken both K-State (*77-75 loss) and Texas (*85-76 loss) to overtime in that building. Six of Colorado’s 13 league losses are by 5 points or less, or in overtime. The Buffs are led by sophomore guard Cory Higgins (17.3 ppg) and junior guard Dwight Thorne II (12.3 ppg). Thorne, who is Acie Law’s cousin, is also one of the league’s best three point shooters making 44% of his three point attempts.

The Aggie Hoops Report Score Prediction:
Texas A&M 68

Colorado 59

Iowa State Recap
OK – I also want to take just a second to talk about last Saturday’s impressive win over Iowa State. It was only the 4th or 5th time this year where the Aggies came out and played 40 minutes of basketball. Josh Carter was simply outstanding as the senior guard scored a career high 29 points including making 7 of his 10 attempts from behind-the-arc. When it was all said and done, the Aggies put up a “as it should have been” 87-69 victory.

Big Chin was also pretty awesome on Saturday adding 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds – for his 9th double/double of the year.

Elonu, Roland and Sloan were all on the bench to start the game as they were late for a team meeting.

Finally, the Aggies did a fairly decent job slowing down Iowa State superstar Craig Brackins. The big Sophomore had 20 points on 9-of-20 shooting but only had 5 rebounds. Brackins also had 18 of his 20 points in the 1st half – Turgeon and his staff did a great job forcing the big guy to change his game in the 2nd frame. The crazy thing about Brackins, I had no idea that his game was so good facing the basket. If he’s a legitimate 6’10” (he didn’t look that tall) and can play facing the basket like that, there are going to be quite a few NBA General Managers interested in talking Mr. Brackins into coming out of school.

OK – That’s all. I am however going to say it one more time. Don’t give up on this group of guys just yet – the fat lady remains warmed up, but she ain’t singin’ yet. Hang with ‘em!!!

Carry on.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mar. 2 Poll Submission

1 Connecticut 1
2 Memphis 1
3 North Carolina 1
4 Pittsburgh 3
5 Louisville
6 Kansas 3
7 Oklahoma 1
8 Michigan St. 2
9 Duke 5
10 Missouri 3
11 Arizona St. 3
12 Louisiana St. 5
13 UCLA 5
14 Gonzaga 1
15 Wake Forest 4
16 Marquette 5
17 Purdue 5
18 Villanova 5
19 Clemson 3
20 Xavier 5
21 Washington 2
22 Syracuse
23 Butler
24 West Virginia 2
25 Utah 5
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Illinois (#21), Florida St. (#24).