Four teams fighting for final Tournament bids

Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech all have visions of making the NCAA Tournament field of 65, but it's doubtful that more than two and maybe three of the teams will get invites. Who has the easiest road ahead of them, and what's the bottom line for the Aggies?

It's do-or-die-time for the Aggies. They're tied with Texas Tech, who the play at home tonight, Oklahoma, who they play in Norman on Saturday, and Baylor, who they play in Waco next Wednesday. All four teams are fighting for the same thing—a trip to the NCAA Tournament, but which squad has the easiest road ahead of them?

Certainly not the Aggies, who may have the toughest remaining schedule of the four teams.

After tonight's game against Texas Tech, A&M will play two of their final three games on the road, in hostile environments, against teams who are also on the bubble. Then they'll return home to play No.7 Kansas.

That's what makes the losses at home to Oklahoma State and Nebraska so painful. The two huge setbacks removed any breathing room that the Aggies may have had heading into the final two weeks of the season.

Texas Tech

The Red Raiders are playing with a lot of confidence right now, winning three of their last four, and would be on a four-game winning streak if not for a buzzer beater by Oklahoma's David Godbold.

But they're going to need all the confidence they can muster, becase Texas Tech may face the most difficult road to the NCAA Tournament. After tonight's game at Reed Arena, they play host to No. 5 Texas, travel on the road to face No. 7 Kansas two days later on Big Monday, then host Baylor in the season finale at home.

Tonight is as important to the Red Raiders' NCAA Tournament hopes as it is for the Aggies, which should make for quite an entertaining game.

Baylor

The Bears have a much more favorable schedule over the next four games, but they're in a similar situation as the Aggies, dropping six of their last seven games and searching for answers. Can they regain the confidence they had after the five overtime win at A&M in time to make a serious push for the NCAA Tournament?

Baylor travels to Colorado tonight then hosts home games against Missouri and Texas A&M before playing in the season finale at Texas Tech. All four games are winnable for the Bears and neither Colorado or Texas Tech have had very good crowds this season, so they've got the least to worry about on the road.

Oklahoma

The Sooners may have the easiest road ahead of them as far as the four teams tied for fourth place are concerned. They play at Nebraska tonight, then host the Aggies on Saturday before traveling to Stillwater for the Bedlem Series match up with Oklahoma State next Wednesday. Oklahoma will host Missouri in the season finale, which is the a much more favorable opponent to end the season against than say…Kansas.

The Bottom Line

All four teams will benefit from the strong conference RPI, as the Big 12 currently sits between No. 2 and No. 3 as a conference. But A&M head coach Mark Turgeon said that it's possible the Big 12 only gets four teams in as conference foes continue to beat up on each other.

The bottom line for the Aggies is that they have to win three of the last four games, and need to pick them up against the three teams they're tied with at 6-6. They also don't want to go into March 8 in a must-win situation against Kansas, who could be playing for the Big 12 Championship.


Aggie Digest Top Stories