Texas A&M vs Mississippi State Preview - ESPN 98.1 FM


As people begin to run around with the idea of Buzz Williams taking the Texas A&M Aggies job, the Virginia Tech Hokies managed to wallop the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament on Wednesday.

Peters led a balanced attack for the Bulldogs, scoring 15 points (5-11 FG, 5-9 3PT), with Tyson Carter scoring 14, and Quinndary Weatherspoon adding an additional 12 points.

"I'm so pleased with our group as we finished the season strong winning five out of our last seven and gained momentum as we enter the SEC Tournament especially with how strong the bracket looks this year", said Bulldogs head coach Ben Howland.

The victor of A&M-State will face 3-seed Tennessee in the quarterfinals Friday night at approximately 8:30 p.m., again. Tennessee won that game 71-54 in Knoxville and also knocked Mississippi State out of the tournament a year ago.

Last year, the Aggies lost on a buzzer-beater to Alabama and Vanderbilt the year before that.

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In A&M's first meeting with Vanderbilt this season, the Aggies came out lethargic and lackadaisical, quickly falling behind 11-0. As a team, Tennessee is averaging 82.3 points per game with the 6th-best field goal percentage in D-I, shooting 49.9% from the field, along with 35.2% from behind the arc and 76.3% from the foul line this season.

Texas A&M was sparked by a 21-point, 10-rebound effort from Savion Flagg.

The Aggies, needing to win the tournament to have any hope of postseason play, played a pair of walk-on guards, Mark French and Chris Collins, 15 and 31 minutes, respectively. It was the highest point total by an A&M player this season. "It wears on you". The 2008-09 season also marked MSU's last NCAA Tournament trip. Tonight we weren't razor sharp.

Tennessee was denied a share of the SEC title by Auburn, losing 84-80 on the road Saturday to give LSU the outright title and No. 1 seed. They outrebounded the Aggies 38-24 and had more assists (17-9) and steals (8-7).

"When you have teammates like ours, it makes the game a lot easier from the start, whether we're hitting or not, because everybody is a threat", Blackshear said. "We knew we just had to kind of step on their neck a little bit and just keep getting stops". Tennessee (27-4) has split its two games with the Wildcats and appear destined for a semifinal showdown Saturday if both can advance Friday night. However, they have been dominated in recent games and I think that A&M will be just a little better than them on offense and defense today.