Turgeon confident about Tournament bid

It's been an up and down year for the Aggies, but during Monday morning's Big 12 Coaches' Teleconference, A&M head coach Mark Turgeon said he believes the Aggies deserve a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

It's been a season filled with ups and downs--with seemingly more downs lately. But after navigating his way through the rigorous Big 12 South for the first time this year, A&M head coach Mark Turgeon believes his team has done enough to warrant a trip back to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.

"I have a feeling if the (NCAA) Tournament was today we're in, but it's not today," Turgeon said. "We'll see what happens this week. There will be some upsets and some things will happen this week to shrink the field a little bit. But that will take care of itself. The committee is going to do their job."

Turgeon, who has only been in the Big 12 Conference for one year knows the history of the league, citing the last time the Big 12 was the No. 2 ranked conference in terms of RPI.

"(The Big 12) has done some things this year that the league has never done," Turgeon said. "We got six teams in in 1997 in what was probably our second best Big 12 league year that we've had. I feel raelly good about what our league's done and that's really going to help Baylor, Texas A&M and those kinds of teams down the stretch here. But we've got to try to get as much done as we can this weekend in Kansas City."

When asked if he thought losing five of their last seven games would hurt the Aggies' chances of receiving an invitation back to the Big Dance, Turgeon said no.

"They look at the last 12 games, and we're 7-5 in the last 12, and we just had that great win at Baylor and they're going to look at that, too," Turgeon said. "There are a lot of teams on the bubble that aren't doing too well down the stretch. They've got to get to 65 and hopefully we're one of them next Sunday."

The Aggies still have a chance to improve their tournament seeding and give themselves a little breathing room this weekend in Kansas City with a first round match up against Iowa State. The winner of the game will play Kansas State in the Wildcats' backyard on Friday night.

Turgeon said his players know that this is a critical juncture.

"We're going to get after it this week. We're going to practice hard," Turgeon said. "We're going to Kansas City to try and win the tournament. We know it's hard to win four games in a row but it's been done before and that's our approach.

"We're going to try to get better this week. At times we've gotten better but taken a step back. At times the last two weeks we've shown signs of being a really good team down the stretch."

Aggie Websider will have more from Coach Turgeon after the Texas A&M basketball media luncheon on Tuesday.


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