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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The future is bright for A&M basketball

With the men’s and women’s basketball championship games set and Major League Baseball under way, it’s that time of year to take a look at your bracket from March Madness to see just how much red ink and Xs are all over it.
If you’re like me, you’ll need to go and dig through last week’s trash to find yours.
For the first time this year, I filled out a women’s bracket. As I looked it over, I realized that it would be possible for the entire Elite Eight to be made up of teams from the Big 12. Just like any good fan of the conference would do, I quickly penciled in Texas, Iowa State, Nebraska, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M as the remaining teams. Reality quickly caught up with my fantasy as our Aggies were the only team from the conference to still be in the mix in the final eight.
Regardless, the fact that 8-of-12 teams in the conference reached the NCAA Tournament speaks volumes to what sports analysts, writers and coaches have been quietly screaming all season. The Big 12 is the national powerhouse in women’s basketball. What’s more, of the four teams that did not make the Big Dance, three of them – Texas Tech, Colorado and Kansas – received bids to the WNIT.
With A&M’s loss to Tennessee Tuesday night, five seniors will be moving on. Aggies everywhere have been treated to one of the biggest multi-year turnarounds in the history of women’s college basketball. Much of the credit for the job done thus far goes squarely to Morenike Atunrase, A’Quonesia Franklin, LaToya Gulley, Katy Pounds and Patrice Reado.
Fear not, Aggie fans. Head Coach Gary Blair will be able to continue the success and momentum built by these five ladies. The biggest way you can show support of what is arguably the most successful athletic program on campus right now is to fill Reed Arena for women’s games just like we do for the men. I know, you can’t stand watching women’s basketball because it’s slower than the men’s game, but at least give it a chance. Coach Blair and his staff have built this program out of absolutely nothing and deserve people in the stands to consistently support them.
“When I first got here, Texas A&M was losing close games, but then we were winning big games and made it to the WNIT,” Franklin said after the Tuesday’s loss. “The next two years we advanced to the NCAA Tournament and now to the Elite Eight. Texas A&M is back on the map.”
See you in Reed Arena this fall.

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