Who Will We Meet On Sunday?

As the brackets begin to fall into place, A&M is fairly confident its name will be called come Sunday. However, the just as important mystery is who the Aggies will be playing. Aggie Websider takes a look at the 10 most probable teams for the first round.

As Selection Sunday draws nearer, it is that time to begin making utterly unnecessary evaluations that will be largely rendered meaningless in less than two days. But this is March Madness, baby. It's not supposed to make sense. Assuming that Texas A&M will fall into the range of a 9 to 11 seed, with a 10 being the most likely, here are the top 10 schools that A&M could expect to face as well as the chance of victory for each.

California

Perhaps the most likely candidate A&M would face in a 10-7 matchup, the California Golden Bears would be an ideal matchup for the Aggies. They are a guard heavy team with very little inside presence, and have been sloppy down the stretch losing four of their last six. A&M would have the clear advantage down low, as well as being able to stick Roland on their premier shooter Jerome Randle, who does most of his damage behind the arc.

Chance of Aggie Victory: 65%

Utah

Currently still playing in their conference tournament, Utah is roughly slated for a 7 seed and would make a good contest for A&M's first game. The Utes feature the Mountain West player of the year in center Luke Nevill, who is averaging over 16 points and 8 rebounds per game. Utah would not be ideal, as they play smart, disciplined basketball, are great from the foul line, and gave LSU a 30-point thrashing earlier in the season. However, Utah is not a team that travels well, so if the region is in the right place A&M could gain the advantage.

Chance of Aggie Victory: 45%

Clemson

Once considered a top seed in the tournament, Clemson has been on a tailspin lately and could fall to as low as a seven seed after their recent loss to Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC tournament. They have lost four out of the last five games, and what used to be their strengths are turning against them, namely perimeter play and poor defense. Much like Arizona, they are led by a big three of Trevor Booker, K.C. Rivers, and Terrence Oglesby, who could combine for too much for the Aggies to handle. Even with the latest slump, let's hope A&M stays away from this matchup.

Chance of Aggie Victory: 35%

LSU

LSU has had a fantastic season up until late, clinching the SEC crown early but then sputtering through the finish line with two losses in a row. Today they will face Kentucky and hope to squash Billy Clyde's dreams of the tournament, but regardless they are probably a lock for a 6 or 7 seed. As we saw in Houston, this team lives and dies by Marcus Thornton and Tasmin Mitchell, but LSU may be seeking revenge and ready to knock out the Aggies out of the tourney for the second time in four years.

Chance of Aggie Victory: 45%

Marquette

It seems that all potential seven seeds have something in common, and that is that they have tanked late in the season, but perhaps none have done so more drastically than Marquette. After starting the season at 20-2, the Golden Eagles have gone 3-7, albeit to quality opponents for most of the stretch. A&M will be at a severe athletic disadvantage and would have to protect against Marquette's rebounding skills, who pulled down 36 offensive boards in the last two regular season games.

Chance of Victory: 40%

Purdue

Although projected as high as a five seed, if Purdue loses today to Penn State they could potentially slip all the way to a seven seed, which, believe it or not, would be a good thing for the Aggies. Purdue has taken advantage of a weak Big 10 this year and has shot very poorly of late, including a 28.3 percent field goal performance on March 8th against Michigan State. The Aggies match up very favorably against the Boilermakers and should be able to pull off the upset.

Chance of Victory: 60%

Arizona State

The Sun Devils have been playing very well all year and have developed an excellent inside-outside game with guard James Harden and post man Jeff Pendergraph. Their last two games have been wins against California and Arizona, and A&M fans probably want to root for ASU to head further in the tournament and miss the pairing, as athletic, slashing guards like Harden are often times left unanswered by the Aggies.

Chance of Victory: 40%

Wisconsin

It is surprising that Wisconsin is rated nearly a 7 seed after doing nothing more than beating up on some bad teams, but if they win today against Ohio State they stand a good chance of climbing up to this spot. They look much like the Aggies record wise, losing 6 straight near the beginning of conference play and ending on a hot streak to climb well into the tournament. While they are yet another Big 10 team to look less than impressive, they have momentum on their side and a good, experience corps of senior leaders, so they should make an even matchup with A&M.

Chance of Victory: 50%

West Virginia

While the Big East is called overrated by many, West Virginia is probably one of the teams in the conference that doesn't get the credit it deserves. A year after losing Joe Alexander, the Mountaineers have put together an impressive season which now includes a stunning victory over #2 Pitt in the Big East tournament. They are very deep multiple on defense, loving to switch from man to zone depending on the offensive personnel, which could throw off some of our possessions. However, with Syracuse having to face them straight off of a 6 OT contest with Connecticut, WVU may be playing themselves right out of this matchup.

Chance of Victory: 40%

Butler

The only mid-major on this list, Butler is coming off a stunning defeat to Cleveland State to knock another team off of the bubble. For the second straight year they have posted an impressive record, this year of 26-5, but have beaten no one outside of Xavier with any real substance. They like to run small lineups and should provide A&M with a significant height and athleticism advantage. This, along with California, would be a best-case scenario for the Aggies.

Chance of Victory: 65%




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