Texas A&M is a top threat in the SEC Tournament due to one key advantage

Texas A&M may have been the surprise team of the SEC in the regular season, but it’s no secret that the Aggies are on everyone’s radar as they approach the SEC tournament. While Alabama is the top seed in the bracket, we’ve witnessed the Aggies slay that dragon just this past weekend in their 67-61 victory in the regular season finale.

What are the odds that Texas A&M can dethrone the Crimson Tide once more should they meet for the SEC title? If they lean into a key strength like they did this past Saturday, chances are we’ll see this movie play out once more.

One of the advantages in the Aggies’ back pocket is their knack for both getting to the free throw line at will, as well as converting those opportunities. In a college basketball landscape where the offensive and defensive rating is at the top of everyone’s minds, free throw efficiency tends to be easily glossed over.

Texas A&M ranks third in the country in free throw rate (25.4 attempts per game) and when they can knock down those shots it serves as an easy foil to any defense. Look no further than Saturday’s win over Alabama, as the Aggies converted 27-of-28 free throws and kept the Crimson Tide’s defense honest in guarding the paint.

It doesn’t matter how stout or formidable your defense is, you will end up paying the price when slashers like Wade Taylor, Dexter Dennis, Tyrese Radford, and Henry Coleman enforce their will in the paint. What should not go unnoticed is that Radford and Taylor were both perfect from the charity stripe against Alabama in the regular season finale, going 10-for-10.

When the shot isn’t falling or if the offensive rhythm is in a funk, there’s no better medicine than converting easy opportunities at the free-throw line.

The Aggies are still waiting to see who stands in their way ahead of Friday’s quarterfinals matchup, but it’s clear a rematch with Alabama could be in the works. Whether it’s the Crimson Tide or another SEC foe in the headlights, Texas A&M’s aptitude for the charity stripe should serve them well moving forward.

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Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire