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Aggie Hoops drops their fourth straight SEC contest

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The wheels are officially off. Texas A&M rallied late but couldn't overcome a sloppy effort, falling 63-62 on the road. Jalen Jones led the way with 21 points.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Sixteen days ago, we wrote about the Aggies breaking into the Top Five for the first time in program history.

We typed those words on a keyboard and we pressed enter, and they became real. Nobody called us a liar. Nobody called us stupid. Nobody did any of those things. We all rode the wave of optimism and assumed it would last forever, with legitimate conversations about pod locations for #1 and #2 seeds breaking out in the comments.

What the hell were we thinking.

As it turns out, we were just headed for the latest season of "How the Aggie Midseason Collapse Turns." A show which we should be smart enough to avoid, based on the title.

Let's break it down.

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What happened on the glass?

Alabama is not a good rebounding team. They are small up front and they make their living with quickness, ranking 12th out of 14 SEC teams on the glass. And they killed us down low tonight.

We weren't getting out-hustled for rebounds... we just weren't finding guys. Uncontested offensive rebounds, which repeatedly extended Alabama possessions, kept the Aggies at arm's length for most of the evening.

The effort down low wasn't good enough.

Passive Offensive Play

For 37 minutes, the Ags had no intensity on the offensive end. We swung the ball around out top with minimal post presence, and everything seemed to lead to a contested shot late in the shot clock. There was no fluidity, no consistency, no anything. To that point, A&M only scored on consecutive possessions five times in this game, which is freaking amazing when you think about it. That's really, really hard to do.

With three minutes remaining and our backs against the wall, we dialed up the aggression. And holy hell did it work. We attacked the rim with nothing to lose, and we got to the line over and over again. That aggresiveness allowed us to chip away at the lead until we were only down one on the final possession of the game.

It's great that it eventually happened... but why did we wait so late?

The Unfortunate Free Throws

I'm not going to give Collins any grief here. He played a hell of a game, and he was maybe the biggest reason why we still had a chance to steal the game to begin with. You could see his heart break when he missed those free throws late, and I'm not going to pile on top.

Those missed free throws sting, yes, but they are the least of our concerns moving forward. There are some real problems on both end of the floor, and if they don't get fixed soon we could find ourselves on the NCAA bubble.

On the bubble. In the same season where we hit the top five. That's almost unfathomable.

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We play at LSU this Saturday, and they just lost to South Carolina... which keeps the SEC wiiiiiiide open. If we turn things around and play to our potential, we're right back in the race.

But those sixteen days from the top of the article feel like a lifetime ago, and I just don't see it happening.

BTHO LSU