March Madness approaches


The Texas A&M basketball team finished the regular season with back-to-back tight wins over Georgia and Alabama to finish eighth in the SEC.

Their spot in the middle of the pack is symbolic of the up and down season the Aggies have experienced, but March basketball is all about momentum and finding ways to be hot at the right time. With three straight wins under their belt, A&M will battle the Crimson Tide once again in the opening round of the SEC tournament.

The Aggies won’t have to win their conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament as they are currently slated as a 7-seed. A hot start to the season and some quality conference wins will get the Aggies into the postseason, but they can push to a 5 or 6 seed with great results this weekend.

The conference tournament will take place in St. Louis and the Aggies will battle Alabama at noon on Thursday. If they take down the Tide again, they will meet top-seeded Auburn on Friday.

Despite four straight losses, Texas Tech finished their Big 12 schedule with a home win over TCU and enter the conference tournament as the 2-seed behind the Kansas Jayhawks.

The Red Raiders will take on either the Longhorns or Iowa State, who will face off tonight. If they can advance from there, they will meet either 3-seeded West Virginia or 6-seeded Baylor. Tech is in a favorable position, but it was a much more optimistic feel just a couple weeks ago.

It seemed throughout most of the season that the Red Raiders would be a lock for a 2-seed, but the late conference losses appear to make a 4-seed much more realistic unless they make a substantial amount of noise at the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City. They will take the court on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Longhorns, Tech’s potential second round opponent, are still on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. Texas bolstered their chances on Saturday with an overtime win over West Virginia.

If the Longhorns can get by Iowa State tonight, it will set up a very intriguing rubber match with the Red Raiders. The Longhorns beat Tech in Austin on Jan. 17 and lost by just 2 points in overtime in Lubbock on Jan. 31.

The selection show for the NCAA tournament will take place on Sunday after the conclusion of the conference tournament championship games.

Whatever happens to the Red Raiders in postseason play, coach Chris Beard will stick around for awhile. Texas Tech announced that Beard has signed a 6-year extension shortly after he was named Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year.