Alcorn State vs. Texas A&M Odds & Picks: Will These Teams Be Motivated for NIT?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyrece Radford.
- The NIT rolls on Tuesday night as Alcorn State takes on Texas A&M.
- Many expected the Aggies to be in the NCAA Tournament field, so their motivation could come into question in this one.
- Check out our staff's breakdown and top bet for this game below.
Alcorn State vs. Texas A&M Odds
|Alcorn State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Texas A&M Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Texas A&M Aggies (23-12) earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT after being bounced from the SEC Championship by Tennessee. As a bubble team, winning their conference tournament was the only surefire way for the Aggies to go dancing.
Similarly, The Alcorn State Braves (17-16) couldn’t get it done in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship, losing to Texas Southern. The Braves earned a bid to the NIT due to their regular-season title.
The two programs will meet in College Station, Texas on the Aggies’ home court.
While both teams are surely disappointed they both narrowly missed participating in the NCAA Tournament, there is a lot of positive momentum heading into today’s game.
Texas A&M entered the SEC Tournament as a No. 8 seed and progressed all the way to the finals. The Aggies beat Florida in overtime and went on to upset No. 1 seed Auburn in the quarterfinals.
Alcorn State entered the SWAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and was riding a six-game win streak. After sneaking past Prairie View A&M and Alabama A&M, the Braves fell apart in the championship game, losing 87-62.
This will be the fourth time the two schools have faced each other, with Texas A&M leading the all-time series, 3-0.
Will this be a walk in the park for the Aggies after falling in the SEC Championship? Or does Alcorn State have the ability to upset an emotionally exhausted Texas A&M?
Alcorn State’s third act this season is underway after the conclusion of the regular season and conference tournament.
Even though the Braves entered the SWAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed, Vegas knew they didn’t pass the sniff test. They were priced at +450 for conference tournament futures, which were the third-longest odds of the eight teams in the conference tourney.
The No. 1 seed that the Braves earned in the SWAC needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The Braves went 15-15 in the regular season, but 14 of those wins came in conference games. Out of the conference, Alcorn State finished just 1-9.
The Braves did have five Quad 1 losses on their schedule. However, those losses were by an average margin of 29.5 points.
Offensively, they were one of the best in the SWAC this season but rank just 268th in the nation in AdjO, scoring 92.8 points per 100 possessions. Fifth-year guard Justin Thomas led the team in scoring (10.5 PPG), assists (4.19 APG) and steals (1.9 SPG) this season.
Defense is going to be an issue in this road game for the Braves, especially given how well the Aggies have been playing of late.
Alcorn State has an AdjD ranking of 224th in the nation, allowing 104.8 points per 100 possessions.
It will need everything to go perfectly to have a chance to get past Texas A&M.
The Aggies’ attempt to win the SEC Tournament with four straight wins came up just short against Tennessee. Head coach Buzz Williams got his team hot at the right time to make a deep tournament run, defeating Florida, Auburn and Arkansas.
The key to those underdog victories was a blazing shooting percentage from the perimeter. Texas A&M shot 25-of-48 from 3-point range in its three SEC Tournament victories before crumbling to 21% in a loss to the Volunteers.
The hot shooting from the arc may have been an anomaly, as the Aggies are 257th in point distribution from long distance and have efficiencies outside the top-230 in catch-and-shoot and off-dribble 3-point shots.
The biggest generator of points for Texas A&M is getting to the free-throw line, as it has an offensive rate of 53rd in the nation.
Defense also played a large factor in the conference tournament run. The Aggies are seventh nationally in defensive turnover and rebound rate. The suffocating defense excels in the half-court and in transition. Texas A&M is the top defensive team in the country in defending opposing offenses running isolation.
Williams has one of the youngest rosters in college basketball, as the team is projected to lose just Quenton Jackson from its 10-to-11 man current rotation.
The Aggies will be hungry to extend the season and prepare for the 2022-23 campaign.
Alcorn State vs. Texas A&M Betting Pick
Texas A&M is red-hot heading into this opening-round game, winning seven of its last eight games. Winning is great, but covering is better and the Aggies have done just that, covering seven of those last eight matchups thanks to great defensive play.
This game will mark the end of the road for the Alcorn State Braves’ season, as the Aggies will prove to be too much at home. Texas A&M has a material advantage in AdjO and AdjD, with a net 11.2-point and 9.9-point advantages, respectively.
I am projecting Texas A&M as 21.90-point home favorites, and the total at 128.89 points. I like the under in this game given the issues that Alcorn State had scoring against nonconference competition.
Look for the Aggies’ defense to shut down Alcorn State in College Station.