Donald Sloan and the Texas A&M Aggies went through a tough stretch to begin the new year. They dropped out of the top 25 and, to be honest, their tournament hopes looked bleak.
They have rebounded with wins over Oklahoma, at Missouri, and No. 24 Baylor. They even impressed people with an overtime loss against previously ranked No. 1 Texas, a game in which they led the entire way until a late run by the Longhorns.
Bryan Davis fouled out in overtime after getting his fourth foul and then a technical right after. It all fell apart after that.
Still, an impressive win over Baylor, in which they were down by six with as little as 9:16 left in the second half, adds to an increasingly successful season. The win places them in third place in the Big 12.
The Missouri victory was the Tigers' first loss at home since the '07-'08 season.
Frankly, the Aggies already have an impressive resume for the Tournament Committee to consider. They have wins over ranked opponents (Minnesota, Clemson, and Baylor) to go along with tough, close losses against West Virginia, at Washington, at Texas, and at Oklahoma State.
The Washington loss was a heart breaker; they were leading for most of the game until Derrick Roland suffered a freak broken leg. The team could not recuperate from the grotesque shape of his leg that followed the incredibly loud snap which echoed throughout the stadium.
Sloan and Davis—Roland's best friends from Dallas—were not the same for the rest of the game, and it showed.
All of this is leading to the biggest two games of the season—No. 1 Kansas and No. 14 Texas still have dates at Reed Arena.
The Ags should expect to beat Texas, considering they have done so by 15 or more points at home the last three seasons, as well as every season since '04-'05—the year after they went 0-16 in Big 12 play.
Sloan, Davis, and Roland have not lost to Texas at home. It's too bad "D-Ro" can't be on the court for a fourth straight.
Kansas is a different story. They have not beaten the Jayhawks since Acie Law's incredible last second three-pointer at Allen Fieldhouse three years ago.
For the Aggies to pull off the upset this year, they had better overcome their terrible three point shooting that ranks last in the Big 12—Kansas leads the nation in field goal percentage defense.
Bill Self and the Jayhawks have typically done very well in College Station. Hopefully, Mark Turgeon can change the trend.
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