It was essentially a formality, but it sure did feel good to hear Texas A&M’s name called again on the NCAA Tournament selection show. The Aggies, now 25-9 after falling to Alabama in today’s SEC Tournament championship game, are a 7 seed in The Big Dance, and will face 10 seed Penn State in the first round. The game will be played in Des Moines Iowa, and will be played on Thursday, March 16.
And in a move that was in no way unintentional, the Aggies have a potential second round matchup with 2 seed Texas if the are able to advance.
After going 8-5 through a lackluster non-conference schedule, A&M’s postseason hopes were on life support as of Jan. 1. But to everyone’s surprise, they went 15-3 in the SEC (matching the most regular season conference wins in school history) and also advanced to the finals of the SEC Tournament for the second year in a row. Suffice to say, no higher seed was looking forward to getting paired with the Aggies in a potential second round matchup. It seems that falls to the Longhorns.
For the Aggies, this marks the first time since 2018 they’ve advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Granted they’ve come painstakingly close, being a notable snub in 2022 and seeming to be well on track to a tournament bid before the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Texas A&M has found early tournament success in recent years, getting knocked in the first round only once and advancing to the Sweet 16 three times in eight tournament appearances since 2006.