Editor’s Note: The above video shows reaction from Texas basketball after receiving a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — They haven’t played each other since 2019 and just twice in the past eight years, but if Texas and Texas A&M make it through their first-round matchups at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, folks in Des Moines, Iowa better get to their seats early.
They used to play each other on a regular basis, and they’ll get to again soon enough when Texas joins the Southeastern Conference next year. For now, however, the teams have met on an Olympics timeline, going 1-1 in their two meetings since 2015.
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The Longhorns are 78-56 against the Aggies all-time and 7-3 in their last 10 meetings, but you have to go all way the way back to 2009 to get to 10 games between the two. But before the teams can take the court against each other at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, they have to take care of the teams in front of them.
The Aggies face 10th-seeded Penn State, and the Nittany Lions are hot right now. They went on a marvelous run through the Big 10 Conference tournament to finish second after giving Purdue, a No. 1 seed in March Madness, all they could handle in a 67-65 loss. Penn State is 8-2 in its last 10 games and six of their eight Quadrant 1 wins this season have come in the past 18 days.
Texas A&M has also been playing well late in the season going 8-2 in its last 10 games, and a lot of people around the country were shocked with its No. 7 seed. Having finished 15-3 in the SEC, with the last conference win over No. 1 overall seed Alabama 67-61, many thought the Aggies would be in line for at least a No. 5 seed.
However, two Quadrant 4 losses during the year and poor nonconference strength of schedule most likely caused the committee to slot them lower. Texas A&M finished No. 19 in the NET rankings and No. 25 in the KenPom.com efficiency ratings, but losses to Wofford (NET No. 226) and Murray State (NET No. 213) clearly factored into their placement in the bracket, as well as a No. 243 ranking in the KenPom nonconference strength of schedule chart.
As far as upset rates go, it’s far more likely the Aggies get beat by Penn State than the Longhorns get beat by Colgate. Since 2010, a No. 10 seed has beaten a No. 7 seed about 40% of the time in the first round. The No. 10 seed is 18-26 against a No. 7 seed since then. Texas is the No. 2 seed playing 15th-seeded Colgate, and the Raiders have a big hill to climb from a historical perspective. No. 15 seeds have won 6% of the time against No. 2 seeds, but two of the wins have come in the past two years. Oral Roberts went all the way to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed in 2021 after beating No. 2 Ohio State and the Saint Peter’s Peacocks took out Kentucky last year.
Chances are the Longhorns and Aggies will collide and make it the 135th meeting on the hardwood Saturday, and with a bid to the Sweet 16 on the line, it could add another chapter to the schools’ storied rivalry.