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Preview/GameThread: Texas A&M vs. South Carolina

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Fresh off a terrible, terrible loss in Kentucky, our Aggies (8-5; 0-2) head to South Carolina (11-3; 1-0) to try to pick up the pieces (12:30pm; CBS)

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Where do we go from here?

Tuesday night was one of the most depressing, morose, hide-your-face-in-your-hands losses of the Billy Kennedy era. Sure, we've had some clunkers early in his reign... but nothing like this. And nothing with this kind of visibility (hello, national ESPN audience.)

With that backdrop, we head to Columbia, SC, to face the third best team in the conference in front of another national TV audience (sup, CBS). There's no rest for the weary.

This is an easier game than Kentucky, no doubt, but you could also call it the 4th of 5th toughest game of our 18-game SEC slate. This Gamecock team is tough at home, they're physical, and they're more than capable of delivering a similar whoopin' if we don't show up ready to play.

Time: 12:30pm

Location: Columbia, SC

TV: CBS

Line: South Carolina is favored by 7

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This probably won't surprise most of you, but I'm gonna lead with it anyway: I'm not terribly optimistic about this game. South Carolina has a decent shot at grabbing an NCAA bid in what might be a three-bid league, so they'll expect to take care of business.

The Gamecocks opened SEC play with a gritty win at Georgia, who usually serves in the Aggie Football "we're pretty good but never really really good" role for SEC Basketball. A win at Georgia won't guarantee you a title, but it usually means you're a force to be reckoned with.

The game prior to that, however, gives me some hope. South Carolina has been known for rarely getting blown out under Frank Martin, but they went to Memphis at the tail end of 2016 and got waxed so badly that they dropped from the Top 25. Now that I know that version of South Carolina is out there, I can retain a fool's hope that the same crew shows up this afternoon.

Of course, if the A&M squad from the past two games shows up, it won't matter. Frank Martin and five peanut vendors would wipe the floor with that nonsense, so here's hoping it doesn't show up today.

Watch this game with hope in your heart, Ags. And perhaps a beer or two close by.

BTHO South Carolina