College Basketball - Texas A&M Aggies at Texas Longhorns (-1.5, 141) 9:00 PM EST
Coach Rick Barnes young studs have lassoed five straight Big 12 opponents and 8 of 10 as the season has closed. Not really sure if the ESPN was lucky or good having Texas on televised games as often as they did, but the maturation process has taken place from month to month as four starting freshmen and sophomore have been right behind Ohio State in publicity for in terms of youth and production.
Durant is a natural shooter and scorer (there is difference) who carried the team early when it needed it and now his scoring average has dropped precipitously, (21.4 last five games) as his team-mates have learned to let Durant help make them better players, a sign of a truly great player.
Expect Texas A&M to come to Austin with a chip on their shoulder. Seniors like Acie Law and have been through the hard times and are relishing prosperity. The 0-16 conference season of a few years ago is likely never far from Law’s mind as he is one of the most dependable clutch scorers in the country.
The Aggies 12-2 (9-5 ATS) record in the Big 12 is only marred by a couple of two point losses to another in-state rival Texas Tech. Texas A&M is perfect reflection of their coach Billy Gillespie who is tough-minded and demanding, but fair with his players. His leadership along with Law’s unwillingness to surrender is why the Aggies are 7-3 and 8-2 ATS.
The Longhorns come into this Texas showdown as a 1.5-point favorite at sportsbook.com and why not. Over the last 19 years, Texas is 18-1 in Austin, completely dominating the series. The Longhorns prefer the fast paced tempo as evidence by 85.1 point a game at home and is 22-10 ATS after 2 or more consecutive Unders.
Coaches of course don’t like to talk about point spreads; however when a top caliber club like the Aggies is the underdog, any coach and especially one as good as Gillespie will use it as motivation. Texas A&M besides trying to capture the conference title is chasing a little history, since with two more wins they can match the school record for wins that was set in 1980. The Aggies are 9-2 ATS off 3 straight wins against Big 12 rivals.
Texas A&M removed demons at both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the problem is Texas is far more talented then either of those two teams and is playing well and with revenge. The Longhorns defense has allowed only one team to shot over 40 percent in this winning streak. With the total at 140, Texas is 15-6 Under after 2 or more consecutive unders over the last three seasons, winning by better then nine points a game.
Turn to ESPN2 tonight at 9 Eastern for this important Big 12 encounter and keep in mind Texas has to travel to Kansas this weekend, the other team in this mix and the Longhorns could be in Texas-sized trouble in Lawrence.
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