Texas A&M puts streak on line at Texas

By: Stephen Nover | Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick, name the only team besides Pittsburgh to win an NCAA Tournament game during each of the past five seasons.

Go to the head of the class if you managed to come up with Texas A&M.

The Aggies are tough again this season winning 16 of their 17 games and tied for first in the Big 12 Conference at 3-0. The 11th-ranked Aggies take on 10th-ranked Texas in Austin Wednesday night at 6 PT with ESPN2 televising.

Texas is determined to do better than last season when it lost 10 of its final 17 games, including a first-round NCAA Tournament game to Wake Forest. The Longhorns are 14-3, 2-0 in the Big 12. They have covered in nine of their 12 ‘lined’ contests, including five of the past six.

The Longhorns’ record is impressive considering they’ve played the toughest non-conference schedule of any Big 12 team having faced Illinois,
Pittsburgh, USC, North Carolina, Michigan State and Connecticut.

Khris MiddletonTexas A&M leads the conference in rebounding margin, while the Longhorns are No. 1 in overall rebounds.

The Aggies pride themselves on their tenacious defense. They led the Big 12 in scoring defense last season holding foes to 65.8 points per game. This season the Aggies are even better.

Texas A&M is allowing only 57.6 points a game, ninth-best in the nation. The Aggies rank 26th in defensive field goal percentage limiting foes to 38.8 percent shooting from the floor.

Texas is right there defensively yielding 61.4 points a game – 36th-best in the nation – and ranking fifth in defensive field goal percentage. Opponents are hitting only 36.8 percent from the field against the Longhorns.

The ‘under’ has cashed in seven of Texas’ last nine ‘lined’ matchups. The ‘under’ is 6-2-1 in the Aggies’ nine ‘lined’ contests.

Both meetings last season between the two schools went ‘under.’ Texas won the first matchup last year, 72-67, in overtime laying 14 ½ at home. The combined 139 points went ‘under’ the 152 ½-point total.

Texas A&M won the rematch at home, 74-58, as one-point underdogs. The combined 132 points went ‘under’ the 140-point total.

Texas sophomore wing Jordan Hamilton is showing signs he could be the school’s next NBA lottery selection. Hill has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, scoring at least 16 points during the past seven games.

Hill had 17 points and six rebounds in pacing Texas past Oklahoma, 66-46, this past Saturday. The Longhorns just covered as 19-point favorites.

Texas held the Sooners to 39.2 percent shooting from the field. It was the 11th time the Longhorns have held a foe under 40 percent shooting, including their past four opponents.

The Longhorns shot 45.3 percent from the floor, marking the fifth time in a row they’ve converted 45 percent or better.

Freshman Tristan Thompson has been stepping up for Texas averaging 17 points and eight rebounds during his past six games.

Texas A&M enters this matchup off a 91-89 home win in overtime against No. 13 Missouri. The Aggies were favored by five. The combined 180 points sailed ‘over’ the 140 ½-point total. Khris Middleton led Texas A&M with 28 points.

The Aggies committed a season-low nine turnovers against the Tigers, who entered the matchup leading the Big 12 in forcing turnovers. The Aggies had a 40-35 rebound edge. Texas A&M came into the game with a plus 11.6 rebound margin. The Aggies haven’t been out-rebounded yet this season.

The victory was Texas A&M’s 13th straight. The Aggies are 3-0 in conference for only the second time in their history.

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