Place Your Bets: Missouri at Texas A&M (Mar. 7)

Shaun HartCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2009

No. 15 Missouri (25-5, 12-3) at Texas A&M (22-8, 8-7)

Sat. Mar. 7 at 2:00 p.m. EST

Spread: Pick 'Em

Backcourt Advantage: Even

Senior Josh Carter (14.1 PPG) will be determined to win his final home game for Texas A&M. More importantly, the Aggies are jockeying for position for next week's conference playoffs and trying to put a stamp on their NCAA tournament bid with a signature win against a ranked team.

A&M is currently tied for sixth with Kansas State and only one game behind Texas and Oklahoma State for fourth. A loss here and a loss in the first round of the Big 12 tournament could put the Aggies on the proverbial bubble.

Missouri, coming off a 73-64 win over Oklahoma, will try to push the tempo and force turnovers with its pressure defense.

Frontcourt Advantage: Missouri

While juniors Bryan Davis (10.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.2 BPG) and Chinemelu Elonu (10.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG) have been dominant inside for the Aggies, especially on the defensive end, it will be the speed and quickness of the Missouri frontcourt that will give the Tigers the advantage here.

Seniors DeMarre Carroll (17.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG) and Leo Lyons (14.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG) will be able to dictate the action against a slower Texas A&M front line.

Momentum: Missouri

With a win, the Tigers have a chance to earn a share of the Big 12 regular season title after finishing 6-10 and in 10th place just a season ago.  They will need Kansas to lose to Texas to force a tie for first at 13-3. Oklahoma would be able to make it a three-way tie with a win over Oklahoma State.

It's been a remarkable season for coach Mike Anderson and his Tigers. They are a better team than Texas A&M, but can not take them lightly. The Aggies will come to play as they are not yet a lock for the NCAA tournament and still have something to prove to the selection committee.

This could be a trap game for Missouri, but I think they will find a way to win.

Shaun's Pick: Missouri

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