#8 Alabama vs Texas A&M

#8 Alabama vs Texas A&M | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 16, 2021

No. 8 Alabama can all but clinch the SEC regular season title on Wednesday night and the Tide will be favored on the NCAAB odds to win at a struggling Texas A&M team that is near the bottom of the conference standings and hasn’t played in more than two weeks.

How to Bet Alabama at Texas A&M NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 9 PM ET
  • Where: Reed Arena, College Station
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Alabama will be favored)

Last Meeting

This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools and they met once last season, a 74-68 Aggies road win. Quentin Jackson scored 20 points and made four straight free throws over the final 18 seconds to lift Texas A&M to the comeback win – the Tide were up nine early in the second half. Kira Lewis Jr. hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to keep the Crimson Tide, alive, down 70-68. Jackson went back to the foul line for a second pair of foul shots, then Jaden Shackelford drew a foul on a 3-point attempt with 3.8 seconds left. Shackelford, who had a big night with 24 points and six 3-pointers, missed all three to end the Tide’s hopes.

Why Bet on Alabama? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Tide (17-5) blasted Georgia on Saturday, 115-82. That was the most points Alabama had ever scored in an SEC game. The Tide’s scoring had cooled off some since a 105-point game against LSU on Jan. 19. Alabama’s previous high in an SEC game was 113 points on Jan. 17, 1976, also against the Tigers.

The only time an Alabama team scored more points in a game came on Dec. 9, 1971 (124 points vs. South Florida). The Crimson Tide put 64 points up in the second half which is the second time this season UA has put up at least 60 points in a half (also scored 60 in the first half vs. LSU on 1/19/21)

Bama shot 64.3% (36 of 56) and made 25 of 30 free throws (83.3%). Alabama came into the day with a 3-1/2-game lead in the league standings with four games now remaining in the regular season.

“It’s pretty crazy,” coach Nate Oats said. “Nobody shot more than nine times and we scored 115. It helps when you make 3s and you’ve got a lot of guys that can make 3s.”

Forward Herbert Jones led five players in double figures with a career-high 21 points and led the team with five rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Freshman Joshua Primo scored 19 points – all of which came in the second half – while guard Jaden Shackelford added 18. Guards Jahvon Quinerly (16) and John Petty Jr. (13) also reached double figures for the Crimson Tide.

In SEC games only, UA’s defense is the most efficient in the SEC, ranking first in field goal percentage defense (.382), three-point field goal percentage defense (.250) and defensive rebounds (29.6), tied for first in steals (9.2) and is third in scoring defense (68.8).

With his first three-point attempt, Petty broke the school record of threes made in a career (currently at 745) and now owns every three-point record in program history (threes made for a career, threes made in a single game).

Jones is one of 30 players across the nation who was named to the Naismith Trophy Midseason Team. Additionally, he was selected to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Midseason Watch List.

Why Bet on Texas A&M? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Aggies (8-7) have had their last three games postponed by COVID issues but this game does appear as if it will be played. A&M last played on Jan. 30 and won at Kansas State 68-61 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. After a lackluster first half, Kansas State shot 50% in the final 20 minutes but the difference was at the foul line where the Aggies went 18 of 20, including 11 of 11 for their final points. The Aggies made 22 of 26 free throws overall to 5 of 9 for the Wildcats.

Texas A&M had four players (Jay Jay Chandler, Savion Flagg, Andre Gordon, Emanuel Miller) score in double figures for the first time since March 4, 2020, at Auburn. Texas A&M’s offense had single digit turnovers (9) for the second consecutive game. Miller tops the team in scoring and rebounding for the season at 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, which rank in the top 10 in the SEC. Miller has increased his scoring by 8.6 points per game from a year ago, which ranks fifth in the SEC among sophomores

The Aggies held Kansas State to 32.1 percent shooting (9-28) in the first half, marking. the fifth time this season the Maroon & White have held their opponent to under 35 percent in a half. The Aggie bench outscored Kansas State, 32-12.

Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Jonathan Aku, Chandler, Gordon, Miller and Jaxson Robinson (1-0) for the first time this season. Chandler has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, and has made nine 3-pointers in the last two.

The Aggies sport the SEC’s third-best scoring defense, limiting opponents to 65.4 points per game. Gordon is the only Aggie to start in every game this season and ranks third in scoring at 9.2 points per game.

Buzz Williams is 24-21 in his career at Texas A&M and 277-176 in his 14 seasons as a head coach.

Expert Prediction

  • Alabama 73, Texas A&M 64

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