After dropping back-to-back heartbreakers to Kentucky and Arkansas, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team travels to Baton Rouge to face the #17 LSU Tigers. It will be another stiff test for the Aggies, who will face four ranked opponents in their next 6 games. A win would bolster the NCAA tournament hopes for an A&M team that sits just outside of the national rankings with a 15-4 record overall and a 4-2 mark in SEC play. The game tips off tonight at 8:00 PM with television coverage on SEC Network.
The oddsmakers think the Aggies will have a steep hill to climb. DraftKings Sportsbook currently lists A&M as 8.5-point underdogs* on the road. This is A&M’s worst line in a game this season. Kenpom.com give the Ags just a 16% win probability and predicts an 11-point loss, 67-56.
* Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
LSU has been facing their own struggles of late. The Tigers started the season 12-0 through non-conference play with wins over Wake Forest and Penn State, but they dropped their SEC opener at Auburn, 70-55. After picking up consecutive wins over Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida, the Bayou Bengals have dropped their last three straight to Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee, falling to 15-4 overall with a 3-4 SEC mark.
Head coach Will Wade has this LSU team playing exceptional defense. The Tigers lead the nation in defensive efficiency, are seventh in block rate, third in turnover percentage, and are the only team ranked ahead of A&M in steal percentage. LSU forces shooters to take tough shots and keeps a hand in their face while doing so. The Aggies have the better rated offense of the two teams, but the long, athletic Tiger defense will hope to nullify any advantage that the Aggies hope to gain with the ball.
The Tigers are led in scoring by 6’ 8” sophomore forward Tari Eason. Eason is a transfer from Cincinnati who averages 16.1 points while also leading the team with 20 blocks and is second in rebounding at 7.1 boards per game. Senior forward Darius Days is second in scoring for LSU at 13.1 points per game and also leads the team in rebounding at 7.3 boards. Xavier Pinson is the Tigers’ top guard, averaging 10.9 points per game while leading the team in assists.
Tonight’s game will be an exciting test for the Aggies, who last won a game against LSU in 2017. A&M will need to rely on their defense to slow down the Tigers’ offense while trying the limit the damage created by LSU’s pressure defense.