Texas A&M and Penn State recently suffered losses in their respective conference tournament championship games, and they are set to face off in a pivotal 7 vs 10 game in the Midwest region on Thursday night.
Texas A&M Aggies (25-9)
Despite the loss, Texas A&M had an overall successful regular season, boasting a 25-9 record, including a 17-4 record in SEC play. The team remains undefeated against ranked opponents this year, winning all four games, including an impressive 67-61 victory against 2nd-ranked Alabama on March 4th.
Texas A&M has an elite offensive rebound percentage, ranking 6th best in the country. In contrast, Penn State ranks 73rd in defensive rebound percentage. As a result, look for the Aggies to capitalize on second-chance opportunities and utilize the scoring prowess of sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV, who averages 16.5 points per game while shooting nearly 38% from beyond the arc.
Penn State, who has +20000 odds to win the National Championship, had an average regular season with a record of 22-13, including a 13-11 conference record. They were not projected to make the NCAA tournament before the Big Ten tournament. However, a close 65-67 loss to Purdue in the championship game boosted their at-large bid. Leading the charge for the Nittany Lions is Jalen Pickett, who averages 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game and leads PSU in almost every major statistical category.
The rebounding of the Aggies is going to be too much for Penn State to handle, as we project them to win and cover the 2.5 point spread.