Tennessee will be looking to keep the momentum going when they take on Texas A&M on Saturday in College Station, TX. The Vols are currently riding a four game winning streak, and are playing their best basketball of the year. The Vols are peaking at the right time, and are looking to make a run at the NCAA tournament. They’ve got a tough schedule down the stretch, with a game against Florida, and their regular season finale against Missouri, the team that recently knocked off the fifth ranked Gators.
The Aggies have had an up and down year, they’re currently 16-10 overall, 6-7 in the SEC. They beat the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington earlier this year, and nearly won their rematch with Kentucky, losing in overtime. The Aggies also have a loss to Southern University on their resume. They’re coming off a win over Auburn on Wednesday night.
This will be one of the few games where Tennessee comes in as the higher scoring team. The Vols are averaging 65.4 points a game, compared to Texas A&M’s 62.7 points a game. Tennessee is averaging 73.5 points a game during their current four game winning steak.
The Vols (15-10, 7-6 SEC) have went with a smaller lineup the past few games, which has resulted in forward Kenny Hall seeing less playing time. The smaller attack has worked for the Vols, they’ve been scoring more consistently. The inspired play of Trae Golden, Jordan McRae, and Jarnell Stokes has helped eleveate the Vols as of late as well.
Every game between now and the SEC tournament becomes a must win for the Volunteers, if they want to make the NCAA tournament. The Vols currently have ten losses. If they were to lose against Florida, Missouri and a game in the SEC tournament, it would still be within the realm of possibility for them to make the tournament. Although I’m sure Cuonzo Martin would much prefer his team to win out.
Last season there were four 13 loss teams to make the tournament as an “at large” team. There were also three 12 loss teams, and three 11 loss teams to receive “at large” bids. No team with 14 losses made the tournament.
The Vols have put themselves in a position that many didn’t think was possible a month ago. They’ve got some winnable games down the stretch. They can’t let up against Texas A&M, and it’s never easy to win on the road. Texas A&M has only broke the 70 point mark once since their win over Kentucky, a streak Tennessee would like to keep going. Tennessee will have to push the ball and keep up the offensive tempo from the last two games to beat the Aggies.
Tennessee and Texas A&M will tip off from Reed Arena at 4:00 PM EST on Saturday. The game can be seen on the SEC network.