It’s mid-February, with the past two years has meant it’s time for Buzz Williams’ Texas A&M team to round into form and play their best basketball of the year. Well that certainly appears to be what we got on Saturday night, as the Aggies’ hot shooting led them to a XX-XX defeat of the No. 6 Tennessee Volunteers at Reed Arena.
The Ags were led, as usual, by Wade Taylor and Tyrece Radford, combining for 52 points, and also as usual, dominated the boards, led by Andersson Garcia with 17 rebounds. But it was their uncharacteristic success beyond the arc that really seemed to make the difference in this one. A&M was 11 of 28 on threes (39.3%) after averaging 26.6% on the season. In fact, nearly halfway through the second half, the Aggies were actually shooting better from 3-point range than they were inside of it or at the free throw line.
With the win, A&M moves into 5th place in the SEC standings (owning the tiebreaker thanks to wins over Florida and Kentucky), but even more importantly, it’s a potential signature win in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. In addition to being ranked No. 6 in the polls, Tennessee also came into this game at No. 5 in the NET rankings, giving the Aggies another “Quad 1” win on their resume. For a team who has been squarely on the bubble, this win goes a long way to making A&M’s tournament chances a lot more concrete.
The Aggies hit the road this week as they take on Vanderbilt (6-17, 1-9) in Nashville at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The game will air on ESPNU.