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Preview/Gamethread: Texas A&M vs Kentucky

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The Aggie basketball team hopes to avoid an 0-2 start to SEC play as they go into Rupp Arena to take on the #6 Kentucky Wildcats.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Aggies fans were left scratching their heads after Texas A&M put up an absolute stinker against Tennessee in their SEC home opener. Now the Ags must follow up their listless performance by heading to one of college basketball's premier arenas against perennial powerhouse, Kentucky. Right now, A&M is a boxer on the ropes and Kentucky is Ivan Drago throwing haymakers.

Despite the shaky situation the Ags find themselves in, they have not been an easy out for the Wildcats in recent past. Four of the five previous match-ups between the two squads have gone to overtime, and once upon a time, the Aggies actually defeated Kentucky at Rupp Arena. After the Tennessee debacle, it's hard to envision the Ags repeating that feat, but there is still good enough talent on this year's roster to go toe-to-toe with the Final Four contenders.

Plus, we always #SECBasketballFever on our side!

Time: 8:00pm

TV: ESPN

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Opponent: Kentucky Wildcats

Rank: #6 (AP & Coaches)

One thing this team has in common with Texas A&M: Both teams have a loss to the UCLA Bruins. So transitive property X #NewYearNewMe - BAS^2 = We have a chance!

How could A&M win: Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg ball out.

Speaking of UCLA, A&M will probably use the same formula that almost resulted in an upset over the Bruins. The Aggie frontcourt can battle down low with the Wildcats and will try to make this game a slog with fewer possessions on offense. Look for Tyler Davis and Robert Williams to come out guns blazing looking to bounce back from their lackluster outings against Tennessee.

If A&M wants to have a chance, the X-factor will be that both Gilder and Hogg have to be on their A+ game. Gilder must fill his stat sheet everywhere from points to steals to turnovers. For Hogg, we'll need to see lights out from beyond the arc. If he can do that, it can help spread the floor for Davis/Williams in the paint.

BTHO uk