SEC Preview: Texas A&M vs. Alabama
Texas A&M (22-8, 14-3) will see their 2023 regular season come to an end at home against the red-hot Alabama Crimson Tide (26-4, 16-1 SEC) on Saturday afternoon, knowing that a potential sixth Quad 1 victory over one of the 2nd-ranked team in the country could significantly increase their seeding in the NCAA Tournament, with Selection Sunday just ten short days away.
If Alabama had lost to Auburn on Wednesday night, this article would be centered around the Aggies’ chance at a share of the SEC regular season. Still, after defeating the Tigers 90-85, the kings of the conference claimed their first championship of what could end up being a historic season for Head coach Nate Oat’s program. Without avoiding the obvious, Alabama has been embroiled in a controversy involving superstar forward Brandon Miller, something I will avoid going into detail about in this piece, but let’s just say it has created a dark cloud over the Crimson Tide outside of the esoteric fan base.
Sticking to their performance on the court, Alabama has won four in a row, but since blowing out Georgia 108-59 on Feb. 15th, the Tide has eeked out three straight single-digit victories against South Carolina (OT win), Arkansas, and Auburn on Wednesday. Led by Player of the Year Brandon Miller, who leads the team with 19.6 ppg, Miller is accompanied by an extremely deep and talented roster littered with 5-Star recruits, junior guard Mark Sears (13.5 ppg), freshman forward Noah Clowney (10.0 ppg, 8.2 rebounds) and senior guard Jahvon Quinerly (7.7 ppg) finish out the starting lineup that’s nearly impossible to match offensively.
As a team, Alabama is ranked fourth in points per game (83.6), third in opposing FG percentage (37.8%), and first in Rebounds per game with 44.3 per contest. On Saturday, it will be a battle of strength vs. strength, as Texas A&M’s defense (65.7 ppg, 40% opposing FG percentage) will hopefully be at full strength depending on the timeline of Dexter Dennis’ return from a knee injury. After leading the Aggies with 13 points in their 69-61 win over Ole Miss on Tuesday night, Tyrece “Boots” Radford seems to be getting back into his mid-SEC play form, which is good news for an offense that has had to squarely rely on the heroics of Wade Taylor IV consistent scoring efforts.
With the initial drama regarding the SEC regular season Title now gone, I expect the Aggies to come out more confined them they’ve been all season knowing that they are safely in the NCAA Tournament, with a good chance to close out the regular season with a bang.
Texas A&M vs. Alabama is set for Saturday, March 4th at 11:00 AM CT. and will air on CBS.
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