Location: College Station, TX
Conference: Big 12
Last Year’s Record: 24-10
Why they’ll make it: In a conference with great 1-2 punches, Texas A&M can lay claim to its own. Donald Sloan in the backcourt and Bryan Davis in the frontcourt will be one of the more formidable scoring duos in the country this season. Not only that, they’ll also provide great senior leadership for a team bringing in a top-30 recruiting class. DeMatha product, Naji Hibbert, leads a class that is expected to provide immediate help for the Aggies. The mix of dependable experience and talented youth will pay huge dividends for a team that is expected to be drastically better in March than they’ll be in November. This will be one dangerous team come tournament time.
Why they won’t make it: Losing Josh Carter and Chinemelu Elonu is a big blow to the Aggies lineup. Carter was the general on the court and the leading scorer for the Aggies. He was one of the best players in the Big 12 and, for the most part is irreplaceable. Elonu was a surprise entrant into the NBA draft. He was their best rebounder and low-post defender and he was expected to team with Davis to become one of the best frontcourts in the country. Carter and Elonu’s production will need to be replaced somehow if the Aggies are to make it a fifth consecutive trip to the tournament. Either way, the Aggies will probably have to sweat out Selection Sunday.