After making fans sweat in the first half, Aggie basketball put together a balanced and absolutely dominant performance against 14-seed Green Bay, 92-65. Danuel House led the way by putting together his most efficient game of the season, scoring 20 points on 8-12 shooting, including 2-3 from 3-point range.
The Ags came out of the gates a little too excited and tried to match the high-paced tempo of Green Bay, leading to a litany of turnovers and questions whether the maroon and white was next up on the March Madness chopping block. Around the 5-minute mark in the 1st half, A&M finally settled into their game and gained full control the rest of the way.
It was a stellar showing and one that should have the Aggie men confident and ready for Sunday's matchup against the winner of Northern Iowa & tu.
Here are some quick takeaways.
Tonny Trocha-Morelos: X-Factor
The sophomore played his best game since A&M's early season victory against Gonzaga at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Trocha has had his ups and downs through the season and at times looked to be strictly a 3-point specialist. But these past couple of weeks have shown a turnaround from the Columbia native, now grabbing rebounds and playing solid defense inside the paint.
Tyler Davis is the talk of the town and continues to be a force down low, but it brings another factor when Trocha can provide depth in the frontcourt. Speaking of depth...
Depth remains A&M's biggest strength
Along with Trocha, freshmen Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg stepped up nicely under the big lights of March Madness, combing for 20 points. 5 different players scored in double figures tonight and the starters were fortunate enough to get some valuable rest at the end of the game.
The Ags looked in sync and controlled every facet of the 2nd half. When the bench provides support, A&M truly looks like a contender.
The Sweet 16...
Today (and really the whole regular season) proved that this year's tournament is wide open and there for the taking. Arguably the most popular pick for a Final 4 run, Michigan State, got outplayed and could not stop #15 Middle Tennessee State. And Sunday, the Aggies will either have 11-seed NIU (a tough out for sure) or their biggest rival, Texas, standing in their way of the Sweet 16.
It certainly will not be easy and UNI/tu are talented and well coached enough to eliminate the Ags. But the same goes for Texas A&M. For this year's roster, and especially the seniors, a golden opportunity awaits to make this season truly special. It should be an exciting Sunday and should not be taken for granted.
BTHO tu or NIU