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Texas A&M Makes History with a Resounding Win
No. 24 Texas A&M concluded their regular season on a high note by securing an impressive 67-61 victory against No. 2 Alabama, marking their first-ever win against a top-ranked opponent according to the Associated Press. The Aggies’ triumph was spearheaded by Wade Taylor IV, who contributed 28 points to the team’s cause. Defensively, Texas A&M stifled Alabama’s 3-point shooting, holding them to a meager 7 of 36 from beyond the arc.
A Game of Ups and Downs
Despite facing a 15-point deficit, Alabama managed to turn the tide and snatch their first lead of the game with less than five minutes remaining, courtesy of a clutch Jahvon Quinerly 3-pointer. However, the Aggies quickly countered with an 8-0 run of their own, regaining control and further complicating matters for the Crimson Tide. Their star freshman forward, Brandon Miller, fouled out with just under two minutes left on the clock, leaving Alabama trailing by a narrow 59-57 margin.
Miller led the Crimson Tide with 19 points but struggled with his shooting accuracy, making only 7 of his 23 attempts from the floor, including a disappointing 2 of 12 from beyond the perimeter.
Texas A&M’s Historic Achievement
The victory propels Texas A&M into the upcoming SEC Tournament as the first team from the university to finish the conference play undefeated at home since the 1979-80 season. It also marks an impressive run for the Aggies, who have now emerged victorious in 17 of their last 20 games after a lukewarm 6-5 start. This outstanding performance positions Texas A&M as one of the most formidable teams in the nation.
Heading into the game, Texas A&M was projected as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament according to Jerry Palm’s Bracketology. The win enhances their record to 6-5 in Quad 1 games. On the other hand, Alabama remains a projected No. 1 seed but might relinquish their top overall seed status depending on the outcome of the remaining weekend games, as assessed by Palm.
Cracks in Alabama’s Armor
Alabama showcased dominance throughout the season, outscoring their SEC opponents by an average of 20.9 points per game over the course of their first 14 matchups. They won 11 of those games by double-digit margins, earning them the top spot in the AP poll for only the second time in program history. At their peak, the Crimson Tide seemed invincible, with their road losses against Oklahoma and Tennessee appearing as minor blips in their dominant campaign.
However, Alabama’s last four games have revealed vulnerabilities within the team. The news surrounding Miller’s connection to a shooting incident near the campus in January has brought unwanted negative attention. As a consequence, the Tide barely escaped with narrow victories in three of their last four games. The unexpected loss against Texas A&M, a contest where they were favored to win, exposes the challenges Alabama faces in rediscovering their momentum.
Though they maintain their status as the No. 1 seed for the SEC Tournament and are likely to secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Alabama must regain their rhythm to fully capitalize on the potential they displayed throughout the season.
Texas A&M’s Remarkable Turnaround
Texas A&M entered the SEC Tournament as the No. 2 seed, regardless of the outcome of their clash with Alabama. Nonetheless, their triumph against the Crimson Tide represents a significant milestone in Coach Buzz Williams’ four-year tenure at the university.
After narrowly missing out on the NCAA Tournament last year, the Aggies encountered a difficult start to the current season. They plummeted to No. 120 in the NET rankings, suffering Quad 4 losses against Murray State and Wofford prior to Christmas. Challenged with climbing their way back up, Texas A&M spent the majority of the season outside the top 25 and managed to secure their position on the right side of the tournament bubble only in the last few weeks.
Wade Taylor IV played a pivotal role in the team’s turnaround, delivering a career-high 28 points against Alabama. Similarly, Tyrece Radford’s 21-point performance was his most impactful outing since January 25. Bolstered by exceptional guard play and a roster filled with determined players who understand their roles, Texas A&M finds themselves riding a wave of success, positioning them for a potentially prosperous postseason.