Texas A&M vs Arizona Preview and Prediction
Texas A&M vs Arizona Preview
No. 7 Texas A&M heads into Tuesday night’s game against surprisingly unranked Arizona with plenty of momentum, having started the season with seven consecutive victories, each coming by at least 11 points.
The matchup is the featured game of a doubleheader at the Valley of the Sun Shootout at Talking Stick Resort Arena, home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Texas A&M (7-0) will play Arizona (5-3) at 9 p.m. ET, with St. John’s facing Grand Canyon University at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Arizona is not in the Top 25 for a second consecutive week after falling out following three losses in three days at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We’re working hard,” Miller said. “We’re not just going to turn it around … but they’ve been working really, really hard. I think if you talk to the players they would echo that.”
This game on Tuesday should feature one of the best post matchups of the early season, as both teams have an elite prospect and a lot of size up front. Arizona features freshman power forward Deandre Ayton who is averaging a double-double with 20.4 points and 11.4 rebounds a night, while Texas A&M counters with sophomore Robert Williams who decided to return to College Station despite being a projected first-round draft pick. Williams has averaged 8.8 points along with a team-high 10 rebounds. The potential lottery pick also has a team-high 12 blocks, despite missing the first two games because of suspension.
The teams are not strangers after playing each other in non-conference play last season in a Dec. 17 matchup in Houston. The game went down to the wire after Texas A&M used a late 18-0 run to pull within two points before Arizona hit two free throws to win the game 67-63.
This Arizona squad is a lot better than their 5-3 record indicates. The Aggies have drastically over-performed but this is a dangerous ball club–they have impressive wins over the likes of West Virginia, Penn State and USC. This may be a “neutral-site” game, but it is played in Arizona and the Wildcat fans will outnumber the A&M supporters. The line shows how close this game will be, but I believe Arizona will bounce-back from their early season struggles and pull out a Tournament-boosting victory.
Arizona 74 Texas A&M 71
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