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Preview: Texas A&M vs. South Carolina

The injury-depleted Gamecocks limp into College Station riding a three-game losing streak (6:00pm; SEC Network)

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 6:00pm

Place: Reed Arena

TV: SEC Network

Line: Texas A&M is favored by 5

Advanced Metrics via KenPom: Texas A&M has a 65% chance to win

Results of Note

The Gamecocks have lost three straight in SEC play, and they have plummeted out of the NCAA Bracketology picture. It might seem harsh for a team that’s still 9-7 in conference play, but their non-conference run was truly atrocious. Those things matter.

They are 2-6 in their last eight road games, with those two wins coming against the dregs of the SEC (Vanderbilt and Georgia), and they beat us 84-77 at home three weeks ago behind a school-record 16 made three-pointers.

Vegas and advanced analytics seem to indicate what the last two weeks have already told us - that South Carolina was a bit of a paper tiger in SEC play, and they’re rapidly falling back down to earth.

Things to Watch

AJ Lawson torched us in the original matchup with 23 points on 6-7 shooting from beyond the arc, but he’s out tonight. It’s the latest in a string of brutal injury news for South Carolina, who is quite literally limping down the stretch.

They’re disengaged, exhausted, short-handed, and (finally) completely out of the NCAA Tournament picture.

That should make them ripe for the pickin’ at home.

Overall Thoughts

We aren’t exactly the picture of health, but this seems like the rare occurrence where we’ll be the healthier (and more well-rested) of the two teams. It’s still going to be tough sledding without TJ Starks, but I still think we’ll have enough to get it done at home.

Just don’t ask me about the season finale at surging Mississippi State.

BTHO South Carolina