The pride of Aggie Basketball

Thanks to Dominique Kirk and Joseph Jones, the Aggie basketball program has reached new heights, going to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament this year. Jones and Kirk have also led the Aggies to eight NCAA Tournament wins. Only five teams in the country have won more games in the Big Dance over that span.

Chase Murphy has called out "DOMINIIIIIIIIQUE KIRRRRRRRRK" and "THE PRIIIIIDE OF NORMANGEEEEEEEEE" for the last time. But seniors Dominique Kirk and Joseph Jones will not soon be forgotten after leaving quite the legacy at Texas A&M.

The year before their arrival, the Aggies finished the season 0-16 in Big 12 Conference play—0-17 if you count the extra game in the Big 12 Tournament. Going to the NCAA Tournament seemed like a pipe dream.

But after the best four-year period in A&M basketball history, fans now get upset when the Aggies don't reach the Sweet 16.

My how things have changed.

Kirk and Jones will go down as the winningest players in A&M basketball history, starting 130 games together and leading the Aggies to 95 wins over four years. The duo also led the Aggies to four consecutive trips to the postseason for the first time in school history, including three straight trips to the NCAA.

Only 24 teams are playing in their third straight NCAA Tournament this year, and of those teams, only five have played in more tournament games than the Aggies (8) in that stretch (UCLA – 14, Georgetown – 11, Memphis – 11, North Carolina – 9, Texas – 9).

The two never lost to Texas at home, they beat Kansas at Allen Field House, becoming the first Big 12 South team to ever win in Lawrence. They were also one basket away from leading the Aggies to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances, with a good chance of taking A&M to the Elite 8 for the first time in school history.

Individually, both have left their mark on the program as well.

Kirk is the iron man of Aggie basketball—starting all 132 games that he played in at Texas A&M—setting a record for the most games played by any A&M player and becoming the first player in school history to start in every game of his career.

But he did more than suit up for the Aggies. Kirk is also No. 3 all-time at A&M in three-point field goals (174), No. 5 in three-point accuracy (38.3 percent), No. 10 in steals (126) and No. 6 in assists (380).

Kirk scored a career-high 21 points in the NCAA Tournament last year against Louisville to help lift the Aggies to the Sweet 16 in San Antonio.

But despite all of those numbers, Kirk will always be remembered for his defensive intensity and blue-collar work ethic, which may also help him earn a spot in the professional ranks as a role player who can come off the bench when a team really needs a stop.

If anyone deserves that shot, it's Kirk.

But Kirk isn't the only departing Aggie basketball legend. Jones is No. 2 in school history in games played behind Kirk, playing in and starting 130 games for the Aggies. That's one reason that the duo will always be remembered as a package deal.

Jones is No. 4 scorer in school history (1,667 points), No. 6 in rebounds (837), No. 7 in field goals (584), No. 10 in field goal percentage (52.9 percent), No. 2 in free throws made (476) and No. 2 in free throw attempts (673).

And while neither of them will be NBA lottery picks or have "The Shot" as part of their highlight reels like former teammate Acie Law, both will forever be linked to resurgence of Texas A&M basketball, and the greatest four-year run in school history.

Jones may be the "Pride of Normangee," but the two are now the "PRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE OF TEXAS A&M BASKETBALL!"

Teams making third straight trip to NCAA Tournament (games played in that span)
1. UCLA (14)
2. Georgetown (11)
2. Memphis (11)
4. North Carolina (9)
5. Texas (9)
6. Kansas (8)
6. Pittsburgh (8)
6. Tennessee (8)
6. Texas A&M (8)
6. Villanova (8)
11. Duke (7)
12. Gonzaga (6)
12. Indiana (6)
12. Kentucky (6)
12. Michigan St (6)
12. Wisconsin (6)
12. Xavier (6)
18. Arizona (5)
18. Winthrop (5)
18. Arkansas (5)
18. Davidson (5)
18. Marquette (5)
23. Belmont (4)
23. Oral Roberts (4)

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