We navigated the first half of the SEC schedule in impressive fashion, and a birth in the NCAA tournament is very much in play.
Read that sentence again. A third time, perhaps.
It's still true. Our Aggies have everything to play for, and the journey starts with a road trip to Columbia. Mizzou sits alone in the cellar at 1-8, and it goes without saying that a loss to the Tigers would be nothing short of disastrous.
Let's break it down.
1) The first rematch
Mizzou is one of five teams that the Aggies play twice (along with Auburn, Alabama, Florida, and LSU) and today marks the first rematch in that group.
The battle at Reed went pretty comfortably after a shaky start, and there's no reason to think this afternoon will be any different.
It's easy to predict a repeat performance, because Mizzou is in the middle of an absolute train wreck of a season. They have eight consecutive losses (only two of which were close late), and a 2-11 record in their last 13. I was thinking they'd bounce back after looking really good at home against Arkansas, but they have since lost their last three by an average of 16.3 PPG.
They play hard, but statistically.... it just isn't there. This is a bad basketball team, folks.
3) Keep it simple
The beauty of today's game plan is in its simplicity - pound the rock. Mizzou doesn't have the depth to deal with foul trouble, so any concerted effort to get the ball down low will likely stretch their starters to the limit. Beyond that... just crash the glass and play aggressive on the perimeter. The only way the Tigers can stay in this game is by launching threes, and if we force them into a slower pace with more deliberate possessions, our D will ultimately win out.
There's really no upside here. We won't get any style points for this win whatsoever, we just have to keep it from becoming a horrific loss. Grind away, wear 'em down, and catch the next flight back to College Station.