Up Next: Texas A&M

InsideTheVille.com provides a closer look at the Cardinals NCAA 2nd Round opponent, third-seeded Texas A&M. Roster notes and photo gallery from Thursday's action against Penn included.

Saturday's meeting between Louisville and Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon will be just the second time that the two programs have met. The Cardinals won the only prior meeting 66-55 in overtime to advance to the 1980 Midwest Regional final and continue their march to the school's first national championship.

The fact that the only prior meeting occurred in the NCAA Tournament isn't the only commonality with Saturday afternoon's match-up. That game was also held close to one of the team's campus, but it was Texas A&M that had the benefit of close proximity in 1980 - this time it is Louisville that will have a home crowd atmosphere.

The common thread continues. In 1980 it was the Cardinals that boasted of having a consensus All-American guard in Darrell Griffith. Now it's Texas A&M that is led by an All-American, guard Acie Law IV. In 1980 it was Louisville that was among the nation's leaders in multiple team statistical categories, while in 2007 the Aggies rank in the top ten in six different categories.

Denny Crum, a young, game-changing coach, directed U of L from the sidelines in the prior meeting, while Billy Gillispie has transformed a team that went 0-16 in Big 12 the year prior to his arrival to one that finished the season ranked 9th in the nation.

Prior to last season's win against Syracuse, A&M's last NCAA Tournament win came in 1980, when the sixth-seeded Aggies beat No. 3 seed North Carolina, 78-61, in double overtime in Denton, Texas. A&M then fell in the Midwest Regional finals to eventual national champion Louisville, 66-55, in overtime.

Texas A&M Notebook:

  • Texas A&M is making its second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Prior to last year, A&M had not been to the NCAAs since 1987.
  • A&M is the No. 3 seed in the South Regional, the highest seeding in school history. The previous best was a No. 6 seed in 1979-80.
  • The Aggies rank 5th in the nation in scoring margin (+17.1). A&M also ranks fifth in field goal accuracy (.501), as well as third in three-point field goal percentage (.422), second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.37.2) and sixth in assists per game (18.0).
  • PHOTO GALLERY:
    Click the link below for selected images from Texas A&M's win over Penn on Thursday afternoon.

  • (Click Here)

    COACH COMMENTS
    Just a few minutes following his team's NCAA first-round victory over Penn, Texas A&M head coach Billy Gillispie commented on facing Louisville next...

    "I haven't seen them play much. I saw them play a little bit today and totally impressed. As far as Coach Pitino, he's been one of the guys that I've watched and studied for a long, long time. I have great respect for him, as a fan. As a young, inexperienced coach, I try and [learn] how to coach the game. I've probably got all the tapes he ever made, and he made several. I've watched all his teams play. I'm a big fan of the way he goes about coaching and winning and everything. This particular team I've watched a little bit and I know quite a few of their players, personnel-wise. And they're great. I was very surprised, when you put the pencil to it, or whatever, and you're thinking, ‘Well, this team is going to be this seed or that seed.' I think everyone was pretty shocked when they were considered to be a six seed. I thought they were a three or a four, at the absolute worst. [They are] a really, really, really good team, great coach. It ought to be a very, very difficult challenge for us on Saturday. But we're glad to be playing them; because that means that we advanced."

    ROSTER NOTES:

    NO. PLAYER PPG RPG NOTES
    1 Acie Law IV 17.9 3.2 All-American also averages 5.3 assists per game
    22 Dominique Kirk 6.5 3.2 Big 12 All-Defensive Squad selection
    23 Josh Carter 12.6 4.0 Leads the nation in 3pt accuracy (.516)
    30 Joseph Jones 13.4 6.6 Had 14 pts, 11 rbds in win over Penn
    44 Antanas Kavaliauskas 12.3 6.5 Big 12 All-Improved selection
    3 Derrick Roland 0.9 1.1 Averages 6 minutes per game
    5 Bryson Graham 1.4 0.2 Has appeared in 10 games this season
    15 Donald Sloan 5.3 1.9 Freshman plays more than 17 minutes per game
    20 Logan Lee 0.7 0.3 Plays an average of 5 minutes per game
    32 Beau Muhlbach 1.1 0.8 Arizona transfer sees limited action
    34 Bryan Davis 2.0 2.8 2 pts, 2rbds against Penn on Thursday
    41 Chinemelu Elonu 1.9 2.0 Redshirt freshman plays an average of 5 minutes a game
    42 Marlon Pompey 3.6 2.6 Played 22 minutes against Penn
    12 Brian Blackburn 0.4 0.1 Has played in 7 games
    14 Josh Johnston 0.6 0.3 Has seen action in 8 games this season
    31 Chris Chapman 0.0 0.0 Plays sparingly
    40 Slade Weishuhn 0.3 0.1 Has played in 8 games this season


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