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Texas A&M

College Basketball



This was expected to be a bigger game before the season, but Texas A&M hasn't lived up to its end of the bargain and look to be headed for a losing record in conference play. Kentucky has been up-and-down in recent weeks, but keeps winning including last weekend's win against Florida. Still, the Wildcats aren't blowing teams away and De'Aaron Fox is questionable to play in this one.

Of course, Fox didn't play in the Florida game and yet Kentucky still found a way to win without its starting point guard. And after how the first meeting went between these teams, Fox may not be needed again. The Wildcats dominated in every way possible en route to a 100-58 win. Malik Monk led the way with 26 points on only 11 field goal attempts, but Kentucky went a ridiculous 13-of-25 from three-point to ease to a win. Nothing went right for the Aggies with only two players reaching double digits and only one other player with more than six points. Things will be a little different in College Station, but expecting a win for the Aggies would be a long shot.

Texas A&M has won its last three home games, but still has three losses at home in SEC play to Tennessee, Arkansas and Vanderbilt, with two of them coming by double digits. So while this game is at home and A&M will probably put up a better fight than last time, it still could be another big loss. But even though Kentucky has the SEC regular season title to play for, they've been far from dominant on the road. They've won just two road games by double digits this season with one of those coming in December and the other a week ago against lowly Missouri. Kentucky will probably come through for the win, but it may not come easy.

The main thing for A&M will be limiting Monk from the same open looks he had last game. To help, Monk plays on a different level in road games and rarely reaches his season average. He has failed to surpass 17 points in his last four road games, yet has at least 20 in each of his last four home games. If Fox doesn't play, that would obviously lead to some A&M backers, but Kentucky still has plenty of talent. Backup point guard Dominique Hawkins isn't at the same level as Fox, but he's still a senior that can play at a high level. But to get this game even closer, the Aggies have the size and strength to deal with Edrice Adebayo down low, who had his way against Florida last weekend.

Tyler Davis may not be as effective as he was a season ago, but he gives the Aggies a big to give Adebayo work on both ends of the court. Davis leads the team in scoring and will likely get a heavy dose against Adebayo with hopes of getting UK's big man in foul trouble. But the Aggies need more than Davis, whether that's DJ Hogg or Tonny Trocha-Morelos stepping up, it doesn't matter. No one on this team has been consistent, which a reason for the poor record. Admon Gilder and Robert Williams are two more that need to have a better game in order for A&M to compete. In the final regular season game, maybe they will show up, but maybe not.

If Fox sits out again, the Aggies will have an opportunity to keep this game close at the least, but expecting A&M to grab a big upset may not be wise.

Our Pick - Texas AM +7.5

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