Following an exhilarating opening weekend of the NCAA tournament, Texas A&M is in the Sweet Sixteen for the sixth time in school history. The Aggies pounded No. 2 seed North Carolina on Sunday night, which made us wonder: Where did the blowout win rank among the program’s 13 Big Dance victories?
Check out our list below:
13. Texas A&M 69, Utah State 53 (2010)
For the fifth consecutive season, Texas A&M won its opening-round game in the NCAA Tournament. This matchup of two Aggies squads featured A&M freshman Khris Middleton, who introduced himself to a national audience by racking up 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Mark Turgeon’s team was unable to advance past the Round of 32 for the third straight year; the Aggies fell to Purdue in overtime two days later.
12. Texas A&M 79, BYU 66 (2009)
For the second straight March, Texas A&M and BYU squared off in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Same seeds (The Cougars were No. 8, while the Aggies were No. 9). Same coaches. Many of the same players. And, it turns out, the same result. Bryan Davis (21 points and 9 rebounds) led the Aggies to victory and ran the Cougars’ streak of consecutive opening-round losses to seven.
11. Texas A&M 68, Penn 52 (2007)
Texas A&M found itself in an ultra-rare tournament role: Heavyweight. Superstar point guard Acie Law helped the Aggies put together an unforgettable season en route to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tourney, and teammate Joseph Jones (14 points, 11 rebounds) carried A&M to an opening-round win with several clutch plays in the second half.
10. Texas A&M 73, Providence 69 (2018)
Robert Williams and Tyler Davis combined for 27 points and 29 rebounds to help the No. 7-seeded Aggies stave off Providence in the opening round. Protecting a 68-61 lead with a little less than a minute remaining, Williams blocked a Friars 3-point attempt and then raced down the court for a game-sealing windmill dunk.
9. Texas A&M 81, Trinity 66 (1969)
The Aggies’ third tourney appearance finally yielded their first victory. Sonny Benefield poured in 25 points while Steve Niles (17 points and 16 rebounds) and Billy Bob Barnett (12 and 11) notched double-doubles in the breezy win over tiny Trinity. At the time, the NCAA Tournament field featured only 25 teams, and A&M lost its ensuing Sweet 16 matchup against Drake, 81-63.
8. Texas A&M 92, Wisconsin-Green Bay 65 (2016)
Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t think Texas A&M (No. 3) should be seeded higher than his Wildcats (No. 4) after a tight SEC championship game that ended in a UK victory. Calipari’s comments clearly irked the Aggies, who went out and destroyed Wisconsin-Green Bay by nearly 30 points in the opening round.
“People were really upset about [Calipari’s statement], and it really bothered us,” star guard Danuel House said. “But then at the same time, we knew we just had to stay together as a team, as a unit and focus on the goal that we talked about.”
7. Texas A&M 67, BYU 62 (2008)
BYU guard Jimmer Fredette drained a 3-pointer to cut Texas A&M’s lead to 63-60 with 59 seconds remaining. But Aggies guard Dominique Kirk hit a 3-pointer of his own on the next possession to ensure the Cougars’ sixth consecutive opening-round loss. Led by Josh Carter’s 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, A&M gave coach Mark Turgeon a win in his first tournament game with the program.
6. Texas A&M 55, Bradley 53 (1980)
Making its first tourney appearance in a quarter-century, Bradley was in position for a magical moment. The Braves held possession with the score tied 53-53 near the end of the second half. But Texas A&M senior Dave Goff stole the ball with 5 seconds remaining, was fouled during his layup attempt at the 1-second mark, and hit both free throws to give A&M a heart-stopping win.
5. Texas A&M 66, Syracuse 58 (2006)
There are several reasons Acie Law’s jersey hangs in the rafters at Reed Arena. This is one of the main ones. Law led the Aggies in points (23), assists (5) and rebounds (7) while pouring in a dozen points during the final 2:25 of the opening-round game. No. 12 seed Texas A&M upset No. 5 Syracuse for its first NCAA tourney win in 26 years.
4. Texas A&M 72, Louisville 69 (2007)
After Acie Law scored 20 points in an opening-round win vs. Penn, the Wooden Award finalist returned to form with 26 points in win over Louisville. Texas A&M was the higher seed (No. 3 vs. No. 6), but the Aggies faced a tough crowd at Rupp Arena, as many Cardinals fans had made the short drive to Lexington.
Cards guard Edgar Sosa put up 31 points and made 15 consecutive free throws before ending his streak at the worst possible moment: Down by 1 point with 29 seconds remaining. Later, Sosa’s half-court attempt to tie the game was no good, and A&M advanced to its first Sweet 16 in 27 years.
3. Texas A&M 86, North Carolina 65 (2018)
Defending national champion North Carolina walked into its Round of 32 game as a strong favorite against No. 7 seed Texas A&M. The Tar Heels were essentially playing a home game in Charlotte, N.C., and featured a stretch lineup that figured to frustrate the Aggies’ front-court-dominated approach.
It went the other way. UNC couldn’t hit a shot, and A&M dominated in the lane. The Aggies ran the Heels out of the building with a 50-36 rebounding edge and an 8-0 advantage in blocked shots. The blowout wasn’t quite as stunning as UMBC’s takedown of Virginia two nights earlier, but it launched Texas A&M into the national title conversation.
2. Texas A&M 78, North Carolina 61, 2OT (1980)
Nearly four decades before the Aggies’ most recent Tar Heels conquest, A&M pulled off a similar feat to reach the Sweet 16. North Carolina had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but narrowly missed.
The first overtime session was a bizarre one; without a shot clock, the teams played conservatively and failed to make a single basket. No. 6 seed Texas A&M blew the doors off the second overtime period, racking up 25 points to stun No. 3 North Carolina.
Texas A&M took eventual national champion Louisville to overtime the following week, but ran out of gas in a 66-55 loss.
1. Texas A&M 92, Northern Iowa 88, 2OT (2016)
This game was so “over” that Seth Davis took out his famous Sharpie and advanced Northern Iowa to the Sweet 16. The Panthers held a 12-point lead with 44 seconds remaining; UNI’s win probability soared above 99 percent.
Then, the impossible: Texas A&M forced 4 turnovers and outscored UNI 14-2 down the stretch. Admon Gilder’s steal and layup forced a tie with 1.9 seconds left. After two overtimes, A&M emerged with the largest final-minute comeback win in Division I history.
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