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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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M looks to make history

Mens+Basketball+vs.+Alabama
Photo by Ishika Samant
Men’s Basketball vs. Alabama

It’s going to be a battle of the top two seeds for the SEC Tournament crown in Nashville. On one bench, there’s No. 2 seed Texas A&M. The Aggies are set to compete for their second-consecutive tournament championship after losing to Tennessee last season. On the other, is No. 1 seed Alabama. The Crimson Tide are set to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, with a win over the maroon and white possibly securing this rank.
Alabama is led by freshman forward and future top-3 NBA draft pick Brandon Miller. Miller has been exceptional throughout the tournament, efficiently averaging 19 points per game through two SEC Tournament games.
During the SEC Tournament, the Aggies have been led by all-SEC First Team sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV. Taylor’s 25 points in A&M’s semifinal victory over Vanderbilt were crucial in holding off Vanderbilt’s second half comeback attempt.
The maroon and white and Crimson Tide have only played once before this season, with the former coming out on top in front of a packed Reed Arena.
In the game, A&M got out to a big lead in the first half and spent much of the second half holding off Alabama to pull out a 67-61 victory. 49 of the Aggies’ 67 points were scored from their guard duo of Taylor and senior guard Tyrece Radford. For A&M to beat Alabama, its starting guards are going to have to be exceptional again.
This time around, A&M doesn’t have the backing of the 12th man to propel them to victory, and it looks like there will be a lot of Alabama fans making the trip to Nashville to support the No. 1 seed. The Aggies will have to bring their A-game to pull out a victory in a hostile environment.
Taylor is looking forward to the opportunity to accomplish something the Aggies haven’t since joining the SEC in 2012.
“Just another chance to make history,” Taylor said. “A&M has never won a conference championship [in the SEC], so we’re just going to try to go 1-0 in our film session and recovery. [Then] go 1-0 tomorrow in the game.”
The difficulty with preparing for opponents in a conference championship setting is the short-turnaround time for preparation. Williams said his staff is going to spend most of the night before getting his players prepared for the championship game.
“I can’t honestly tell you what’s transpired with Alabama since they’ve been in Nashville,” Williams said. “We’ll have to spend a few hours studying what has changed. I don’t know that a lot has changed tactically in how they play. Maybe they’re utilizing their personnel a little [differently]”
Williams knows A&M will have to be at their best to defeat a team with Final Four aspirations for the second time in almost a week.
‘I’m not sure when the last time there was a regular season champion in the SEC that only lost one game,” Williams said. “I think the success that they have had speaks for itself.They’re a No. 1 seed [in the NCAA Tournament] for sure.”
Williams attributes A&M’s progress to prioritizing program success over individual success.
“We have never had the best players,” Williams said. “We do not have the best coaches, and I’m [certainly] not the best coach. I don’t think our program is built on, I’m trying to be the best coach or this player is trying to be the best player. We’re trying to be the best team we can be.”

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