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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 BattalionMay 4, 2024

Men’s Basketball to tip off postseason

The Aggie men’s basketball team will start its postseason action Wednesday against the Wyoming Cowboys.
A&M (17-15, 8-10 SEC) accepted its bid to play in the College Basketball Invitational and will tip off against the Cowboys (14-8, 9-9 MWC) at 7 p.m. in Reed Arena.
Head coach Billy Kennedy said the CBI was not where he wanted to end the season, but said some postseason play would be good for his players.
“Two or three weeks ago, I knew all along that worst case scenario, if we got the chance to play that I would want to play,” Kennedy said. “I told [my players] all year long that we wanted to play postseason play in whatever tournament we get in. Obviously the NCAA Tournament was our goal.”
Wednesday’s matchup will be the first appearance by A&M in the CBI’s seven-year history. This also marks the Aggies 19th time to appear in postseason play and the eighth time within the last 10 seasons.
The CBI is a single-elimination tournament that includes 16 teams and is hosted at on-campus arenas throughout the country. The championship of the CBI is a three-game series between the two finalists.
Junior guard Jordan Green said he is excited for a chance to show what he can do in the postseason.
“The last two years, you play until conference, then conference tournament and then you stop, but now it’s in our heads to continue to practice in March,” Green said. “I think it’s a great thing and a smart decision by coach to put us in [the CBI] and continue to play in March.”
A&M has ranked third in both scoring defense – allowing 63.4 points per game – and field goal percentage defense – holding opposing teams to just .402 from the field.
The Aggies are led by sophomore point guard and College Station native Alex Caruso. In the regular season, Caruso led the SEC in both assists (154) and assists per game (4.8), while ranking second in steals.
“We’re looking forward to playing again,” Caruso said. “No one likes being done this early in the year. I heard coach say it’s not where we want to be, and it’s definitely not where our goal was, but it’s something and I think it’s something that we can win.”
Wyoming hails from the Mountain West Conference and lost its previous matchup to the UNLV Rebels, 71-67, in the second round of the MWC Tournament. The Cowboys will be without Larry Nance Jr., who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, due to an ACL tear. Instead, they will look to sophomore guard Josh Adams to lead the Cowboys into Reed Arena.
The Aggies currently own the all-time series with Wyoming 3-1, with the Cowboys taking the previous matchup 79-70 on March 13, 1986, during the National Invitation Tournament. Kennedy served as an assistant coach at Wyoming in the 1987-88 season, where the Cowboys reached their first NCAA tournament appearance.
Should the Aggies win against Wyoming, they will face the winner of the Morehead State and Illinois State matchup Monday in the CBI quarterfinals.

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