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Texas at Texas AM

Saturday College Basketball Predictions

2/27/10

Itís been a long fall for the Texas Longhorns who were #1 in the country and 17-0 at one point in this season. Their last victory as an undefeated team came against Texas A&M who they will play again this Saturday at 2 PM EST on ESPN. The Longhorns dropped 6 of their next 9 after beating Texas A&M in OT. They are currently on a two game win streak. They beat Oklahoma State in their last game. The Aggies sport a record of 19-8 and they own wins over Clemson and Baylor. This is a good rivalry game, and the Aggies may have the edge in their bid to exact revenge.

The #21 Texas Longhorns are led by senior C Dexter Pittman. We have watched him play several times and are not exaggerating when we say he is REALLY good. He had 23 points and 15 rebounds against North Carolina in what is likely his best game of the year. He put up 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds on the road against Arkansas. He has been a bit flat in the second half of the year, but he looked strong in his last game against Oklahoma State where he had 16 points and 8 rebounds. Texas needs him to have a big game. When he plays up to his potential he is one of the best big men in the country.

Damion James is every bit as important to his team as Pittman. The senior is adding 17.7 PPG and 10.7 RPG. He averages 41.4% from three point range. His best game was arguably when he put up 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Texas Tech. The swingman is a force on the court. Freshman guard Avery Bradley contributes 12.5 PPG. He can strike well from three point land where he is connecting at 40.8%. All three of these players need to perform well against the Aggies.

The #23 Texas Tech Aggies last win came over the lowly Iowa State Cyclones. Before that they narrowly lost to the Kansas Jayhawks. The most important player for this team is senior G Donald Sloan. He scores 18.1 PPG. His best game of the year came when he dropped 28 points on Texas Tech. He is aided by Derrick Roland and Bryan Davis. They add 10.5 and 10.2 PPG, respectively. Davis gets 8 RPG playing the forward position. He had 17 points in the Aggies loss to Texas earlier this year.

The Aggies had a 9 point lead at half time the first time around against Texas. They let the Longhorns back in the game during the second half and let them force OT where they won to maintain their since lost status as #1. Texas A&M had only themselves to blame for the loss. They missed 10 FTs which is unacceptable in a big game or any game for that matter. They only made 4 of 16 three pointers. This is a huge game for the Aggies and a win would likely assure them a spot in the field the 65 come NCAA Tournament time.

Keys to victory for the Texas Longhorns include getting out to a fast start. They cannot afford to fall behind early to this team like they did the first time. The Aggies will slam the door shut at home if they do. Texas needs production from big man Pittman and a solid game from James and Bradley. The Aggies will need to take advantage of what should be an electrifying environment at home. Shutting down Pittman and James will ensure a victory; but it wonít be an easy thing to do.

Predicted Final Score - Texas 73 Texas AM 72

 

 

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