clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament Preview: Texas A&M vs. Michigan

New, 136 comments

Can the Aggies reach the Elite 8 for the first time in program history?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-North Carolina vs Texas A&M Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

What: Our 6th Sweet Sixteen game, ever (current record... 0-5)

Who: Michigan Wolverines

When: 6:30 central, TBS

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles California

Line: Michigan by 3.5

***********************************************************

Let’s start with an obvious statement: If we submit another UNC performance, we’re going to win. I’m not suggesting that’s likely, but it’s important to note our ceiling is that high.

If we aren’t able to replicate the best wire-to-wire NCAA Tournament performance in Aggie Basketball history, that’s where things will get interesting, because...

The Wolverines Are Flying High

A real life flying wolverine seems pretty dang terrifying... and the basketball version is not too different. They’ve won 11 straight, they completed an extraordinary comeback over Houston in the second round, and they’re looking at a half of the bracket so decimated that they’re the only Top 3 seed remaining.

Michigan fans won’t tell you this, but they’ve got eyes on the Finals.

How can they cope down low?

Unlike UNC, Michigan is likely to make peace with their inability to handle Davis and Williams, as the Wolverines traditionally rotate two big men (Moe Wagner and Jon Teske) and surround them with shooters. That’s a recipe for success for us offensively, and it’s likely to lead to a rebounding edge, but it’s not a great matchup on defense. We will likely see Davis and/or Williams pulled away from the rim to deal with shooters or small/quick forwards, and that’s not where they thrive.

These clashing styles are going to be fascinating to watch on offense, as both teams will try to impose their will and make the opponent adjust their lineup accordingly.

How does Michigan stack up on D?

Very, very well. The Wolverines are 3rd in the nation defensively (and the best remaining team) according to KenPom, and we slot right behind them in 4th. This is going to be a grind on the defensive end.

What’s going to happen?

I can’t pick us to go to our first ever Elite Eight, for fear that my pick might affect the fates somehow. But I will say this - we’re in a unique position as Texas A&M Basketball fans. Usually, by the second weekend we’re playing someone clearly better, and we need them to have an off day to have a chance. That’s not the case tomorrow, and it won’t be the case any time between now and a hypothetical National Championship game against Villanova, Kansas, or Duke.

Everyone else is fair game, and everyone else can be had if we play our game. It’s an extraordinary time to be an A&M Basketball fan.

Which, of course, means the whole thing will fall apart.

Final Prediction: Michigan 68, Texas A&M 65

Poll

Will Texas A&M defeat Michigan?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Yes
    (870 votes)
  • 38%
    No
    (544 votes)
1414 votes total Vote Now