WACO -- Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon was so sick with the flu a few hours before last night's game at Baylor, he could barely get out of bed.
The Aggies' NCAA tournament hopes were in bad shape, too. They'd
lost four of their last five games, dropped each of their last two
road games by 27 points, and were in danger of finishing under .500
in Big 12 play.
Turgeon rallied, and so did his team, beating Baylor 71-57. Even
as fans hurled debris from the stands at Baylor's Ferrell Center at
the end, the Aggies (22-8, 8-7 Big 12) smiled as they skipped off
They felt a lot better about their postseason chances than they
had in a while.
Even before the victory, Turgeon thought the Aggies had done
enough to impress the NCAA tournament's selection committee. The
Big 12 is considered among the best two or three leagues in the
country in the Ratings Percentage Index, a by-the-numbers formula
generally considered an accurate indicator of team and conference
A&M has wins over Ohio State, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma on its
tournament resume. But if the Aggies had lost to Baylor and to No.
5 Kansas on Saturday, they'd have finished with a 7-9 conference
record. No Big 12 team has ever gone 8-8 or worse in league play
and made the NCAA tournament.