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GAME #33: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Arkansas vs LSU Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas Preview

Opponent: Texas A&M Aggies
Date: Saturday, March 12, 2022
Time: 12:00PM CDT
Place: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay, Florida
TV/Streaming: ESPN
All-Time Series: Arkansas leads 105-58
All-Time Series at a Neutral Site: Arkansas leads 7-4
All-Time Series at the SEC Tournament: First Matchup

The Aggies – 22-11

What a rollercoaster season for Texas A&M. A hot start, followed by 8 straight losses in conference play, and now 6 straight victories heading into Saturday’s contest. Buzz Williams has this team clicking on all cylinders.

The emergence of Tyrece Radford has taken the Aggies to the next level. He has scored in double digits in 11 of the past 12 games. The Virginia Tech transfer couldn’t miss against Auburn on Friday.

A&M finds themselves on the wrong side of the bubble currently, but are rising quickly. A win over Arkansas may be enough to put them in.

The Aggies start a small lineup, but Duke transfer Henry Coleman has been a bull in this tournament so far. Against Florida, he had 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals. This was against the talented Colin Castleton. On Saturday, Coleman put up 16 points and 10 rebounds. He is 15-25 from the field and has only committed 1 foul while guarding Castleton and Walker Kessler. He’s been outstanding. The matchup between Coleman and Jaylin Williams will be fascinating.

The Razorbacks – 25-7

Arkansas played so good on Friday. While the box score didn’t reflect it, I thought for about 85% of the game the offense was awesome. There were a ton of open looks, but the Hogs couldn’t get the shots to fall. As always, the defense made things extremely difficult for LSU to complete a 3-game sweep on the year.

A key to an Arkansas win is to take care of the basketball. Buzz doesn’t mind playing very slow. Possessions will likely be limited so you must not shoot yourself in the foot.

Another key will be guard play. Guards will make or break you in March, but that is especially true in this game. A&M is guard heavy so J.D. Notae, Devo Davis, and Chris Lykes will all need to play well on Saturday. Against LSU, Arkansas played big for most of the game. I think we will see some guard heavy lineups to keep up with the A&M speed. Those same guards are shooting a scorching 17-33 from 3 in this tournament. You cannot allow that to continue.

Arkansas cannot do what Auburn did on Friday. They cannot assume they will move onto the next round. They can’t have their eyes on the Championship game. The Hogs need to take A&M seriously. Be the aggressor! Arkansas came out swinging early against LSU to build a sizable lead. We need to see the same thing today. The Aggies will be playing their 3rd game in as many days. Both games went to the wire so you have to wonder how their legs will be. Should come out swinging, they will win.

I expect big games from Stanley Umude and Au’Diese Toney. Coleman should give Williams a hard time. The A&M guards can slow down Notae. So expect the bigger Arkansas SF and PF to be effective today.

Prediction: Arkansas 72, Texas A&M 65