Dean: Aggies Talented & Feisty But No Match For Sooners
ANAHEIM, California - Texas A&M looks a lot like Baylor when they take the floor. And the Baylor basketball teams looks a lot like a tall version of Baylor's football team when they get off the bus. Lots of lean, long and lanky lads with muscles sitting atop muscles. Guys you'd pick in most any matchup. But not necessarily so in basketball.
Oklahoma trots out an athletic looking bunch itself. But one that can play hoops in a variety of ways. And a smiling Bahamian wearing jersey 24 who is on an NCAA tournament roll that has surely secured his national player of the year status.
That's just a couple of reasons I say the second-seeded Sooners will advance past the third-seeded Aggies, taking advantage of a dream bracket that would have them a favorite to advance to the final four, regardless whether it's top-seeded Oregon or the fourth-seeded fighting coach Ks.
For the record, OU is the betting favorite to come out of the south, nudging out Oregon with A&M and Duke tied a distant third. I disagree with the Smart Guys who have posted OU as but a 3-point favorite over A&M. I think the Sooners would beat the Aggies at least 7 times out of 10 under these Sweet 16 conditions. But as we all know, anything can happen in a single game, and OU had best not overlook Good-guy HC Bill Kennedy's muscle-bound cagers.
The Aggies tied with Kentucky as co-champs of a watered-down SEC -- their first conference title since 1986 in the Southwest Conference day; two conferences ago.
I saw A&M play on TV multiple times throughout the season and in the first halves of both their games in OKC. Clearly well-coached, they are not mature enough to play with consistent intensity. They definitely don't have a championship pedigree, or that of an OU team that is one of five sooner teams to reach the Round of 16 in the last 10 years.
Further, OU has not gotten it's due as a quality program. Not many places have had three terrific modern era coaches (Billy Tubbs, Kelvin Sampson and Lon Kruger) to go with a dandy from them good old days (Bruce Drake). But the Sooners will worry about Rodney Dangerfield later. First up, the never-say-die Aggies.