March 22, 2007

History within A&M's grasp

It's finally here. All week long Texas A&M has had to wait to play in its first Sweet 16 game in 27 years, and that wait is finally over. At 6:27 p.m. the third-seeded Aggies will face second-seeded Memphis in San Antonio at the Alamodome.

On the line is A&M first-ever trip to the Elite Eight. If you believe all the pundits around the country then the Aggies will make their furthest push into the NCAA tournament in the program's history, and many of those same pundits are predicting a run to the Final Four.

But it won't be easy taming Memphis' run-and-gun offense and solid defense.

The fact that A&M is even in this game, however, is a testament to the turnaround orchestrated by head coach Billy Gillispie. Three years ago when Gillispie was hired things looked bleak after a 0-16 Big 12 conference season. Things looked up after Gillispie's first season that saw a 21-10 turnaround and a run to the NIT quarterfinals, but who would ever believe this is where the Aggies would be just two short years later?

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