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Texas A&M WBB: Aggies host Missouri State at Reed in first round

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Selection Monday saw the NCAA committee give the Women's Bouncy Ball team a 4 seed in the Dallas regional

Ags look to make a statement in the dance
Ags look to make a statement in the dance
Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

After ending the season with two losses, there was some worry that the Ags might slip out of the top 16 in the committee rankings. After going one and done in the SEC tourney, the Ags had fallen to #19 in RPI (obvious overall #1 seed is 3 in RPI thanks to the weakness of the AAC) and #18 in the the AP and USA today polls.  But going into Monday, ESPN expert Charlie Creme still had the Ags snagging a 4 seed, and, in fact, had us at 15 overall on the S curve.

The Ags first saw that they had the 4 seed when Florida State and Middle Tennessee were shown as playing in College Station.

The Ags strength of schedule, along with beating Miss State head to head helped seal the 4 seed, which in WBB means getting to host unless there's a conflict for one of the other seeds. That turned out to help our friends in Starkville, as Michigan State got a 4 seed but couldn't host, moving the 4-5 game in the Bridgeport region to Starkville.

If the Ags can get past the subregional, it sets up a Sweet 16 matchup with 1 seed Baylor in Dallas. If this happens, it will bring back a lot of memories of 2011 (although that was an Elite 8 game).

Overall, the SEC did very well, with 9 teams getting bids

  1. S. Carolina: 1 seed in the Sioux Falls region. The Gamecocks have a good chance to get a rematch with UConn in the final 4. They're the second 1 seed overall, and the 2 and 3 seeds in their side of the bracket, Arizona State and Ohio State both finished the season with early exits from their conference tourneys. The 2 seed Sun Devils got upset by Cal, while Ohio State lost 3 of their last 4, including 2 losses to Michigan State in about a week.
  2. Kentucky: 3 seed in the Lexington region, hosting first round. Maybe this was a make-up for how the Men's committee placed UK. Just kidding, but the Cats get to play at home all the way to the final 4 if they can get that far.
  3. Texas A&M: 4 seed in Dallas, hosting first round
  4. Mississippi State: 5 seed in Bridgeport, hosting first round. If Vic's girls get two home wins, they get UConn in the S16.
  5. Florida: 5 seed in Sioux Falls, first round in Syracuse
  6. Tennessee: 7 seed in Sioux Falls, first round in Tempe. Tennessee had a couple of games where it looked like they were getting their act together, including a win over the Ags, before looking awful against Mississippi State. They would have to beat Arizona State in Tempe to get to the S16.
  7. Georgia: 8 seed in Lexington, first round in South Bend. In South Bend without Shacobia Barbee?
  8. Auburn: 9 seed in Dallas, first round in Waco.
  9. Missouri: 10 seed in Bridgeport, first round in Austin. On the selection show, Mizzou was named as one of the last 4 in.
No other conference was close to getting 9 teams in.

Up Next: College Station Subregional

  • Saturday March 19, 2016
  • Reed Arena, College Station, TX
  • Middle Tennessee vs Florida State at 12:30 PM CDT
  • Missouri State vs Texas A&M 3:00 PM CDT
  • Both games on ESPN2

Missouri State

The Bears finished tied for second in the Missouri Valley Conference regular season but won the MVC tournament on Sunday by destroying top-seeded Northern Iowa. Likely starters:

  • #22 5-10 Sr G Tyonna Snow (16.6 ppg, 7 rpg) is the MVC player of the year and defensive player of the year. She leads the Lady Bears in scoring, FG%, blocks, steals, and assists. She's second in rebounding at 7 per game, barely getting edged by Chvatal's 7.2 per game. She doesn't take many 3s.
  • #12 6-1 Sr F Hillary Chvatal (8.5 ppg; 7.2 rpg)
  • #13 6-1 So F Audrey Holt (3.5 ppg; 4.5 rpg)
  • #1 5-10 Fr G Danielle Gitzen (3.1 ppg; 2.3 rpg)
  • #4 5-11 RS Sr G Kenzie Williams(13.8 ppg) was named to the MVC All-Conference first team. She is eighth in Missouri State history in total points (unless Snow passed her during the tourney).

#5 5-10 So G Liza Freundt adds 11.2 ppg coming off the bench.

I haven't seen Missouri State at all, but the stats suggest a team that wants to play fast, based on their average of 70.5 ppg while shooting just .397 from the field. They average 14.3 turnovers/game while forcing 17.5.

A&M and Missouri State have several common opponents for the year:

Team vs Missouri State vs Texas A&M
Missouri L 71-55 W 81-77
Ole Miss W 91-78 W 81-58; W 62-48
Arkansas W 69-54 L 67-61
UALR W 64-58 W 69-39

Florida State v Middle Tennessee

The early game on Saturday has 5 seed FSU playing 12 seed Middle Tennessee.  If the Ags take care of business vs Missouri State, I will have more on the team we face on Monday. But for those who are getting tickets and will get to Reed early, here's what I know about the this game.

The Noles had their best year in program history last season and Coach Sue Semrau was recognized as National Coach of the Year. That team only lost 2 seniors and looked poised to challenge for the top of the ACC. But FSU lost a couple more players to transfers and ended up with only 10 active players on their roster, with an 11th, Imani Wright, sitting out a year after transferring in from Baylor. They still had a very good year, finishing at 23-7 (13-3 in the ACC) good enough for a tie with Syracuse for 3rd in the ACC (Syracuse won the head to head). But it's not clear how good they really are; they played a good schedule but the only ranked team they beat was Miami, taking 2 regular season games but then losing to the Canes in the ACC tournament.

Florida State has an outstanding PG in Leticia Romero, a player from Spain who could have left for the WNBA. They also have a Wade Watch post in 6-4 Sr Adut Bulgak.

The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are 24-8 overall (15-3 in conference).  Middle Tennessee was tied for second in C-USA with W. Kentucky, but won the Conference USA tournament to comes to Reed on a 6 game win streak. They are coached by Rick Insell, the father of Ole Miss coach Matt Insell. Father Rick's Raiders beat Son Matt's Rebels in November. MTSU is averaging 70 ppg.

Watch for 5-10 Sr wing Brea Edwards and 5-7 Jr G Ty Petty. I wonder if the senior Insell's style of play resembles his son's. MTSU is forcing 17.5 turnovers/game by their opponents.