A&M Heads to KC for Big 12 Championship
The teams will play just four days after concluding the regular season against each other, with the Sooners holding on to defeat A&M 65-62 on Saturday afternoon in Norman. It will mark just the second time in the Big 12 era that the Aggies have faced the same opponent in the last regular-season game and first Big 12 Championship game (1998, Baylor).
The winner of Wednesday's game advances to a Thursday quarterfinal matchup with top-seed Kansas (2 p.m./ESPN2).
Texas A&M AGGIES (13-17, 4-14) at the Phillips 66 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round vs Oklahoma (15-15, 5-13)
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 • 6:00 PM CT • TV: Big 12 Network
Sprint Center (18,972) • Kansas City, Missouri
Coverage (First Round)
TELEVISION: Big 12 Network
Dave Armstrong, Play-by-Play
Reid Gettys, Commentary
Local: CW Texas (KBTX-DT 3.2)
ESPN Full Court: Check Listings (DirecTV/Dish)
Clearance List: big12sports.com
RADIO: Texas A&M Sports Network
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Al Pulliam, Commentary
Local: WTAW-AM 1620
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93/XM 191 (Big 12 feed)
2012 PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Kansas City, Missouri [Sprint Center]
First Round: Wednesday, March 7
No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Texas A&M, 6 p.m. (Big 12 Network)
No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 Texas Tech, 8:30 p.m. (Big 12 Network)
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 8
No. 4 Baylor vs. No. 5 Kansas State, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
No. 1 Kansas vs. OU/A&M winner, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 2 Missouri vs. OSU/Tech winner, 6 p.m. (Big 12 Network)
No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 6 Texas, 8:30 p.m. (Big 12 Network)
Semifinals: Friday, March 9
Thursday Afternoon Winners (6:30 p.m., Big 12 Network/ESPNU)
Thursday Evening Winners (9 p.m., Big 12 Network/ESPNU)
Championship: Saturday, March 10
Semifinal Winners (5 p.m., ESPN)
in Kansas City
- A&M will not have any formal pre-tournament interviews in Kansas City. Contact assistant media relations director Matt Simon with any interview requests. Video, audio and quotes from the Aggies' Monday press conference in College Station is available on aggieathletics.com.
- Coach Kennedy and selected players will be briefly available following A&M's practice sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday at Sprint Center.
12 Championship Bites
- No. 9-seed Texas A&M opens play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Wednesday evening ... the Aggies face off with No. 8-seed Oklahoma at 6 p.m. (Big 12 Network).
- It will mark just the second time in the Big 12 era that the Aggies have faced the same opponent in the last regular-season game and first Big 12 Championship game (1998, Baylor) ... it happened only twice to A&M in the 20-year history of the Southwest Conference Tournament (1986, Arkansas; 1992, Texas).
- The winner of Wednesday's game advances to a Thursday quarterfinal matchup with top-seed Kansas (2 p.m./ESPN2).
- A&M is the No. 9 seed for the first time in Big 12 Championship history ... the No. 9 seed is 10-15 all-time at the Big 12 Championship and 8-7 in first-round matchups ... the 9-seed has advanced to the quarterfinals for five straight seasons.
- 2012 will mark the first time in 8 years that the Aggies will be the lower-seeded team for its opening tournament game ... A&M had been the higher-seeded squad for the last 7 years after being the lower-seeded team in 7 of its first 8 Big 12 Championship appearances.
- Texas A&M is 3-3 as the higher-seeded team in the Big 12 Championship and 1-12 as the lower-seeded team.
- The Aggies are 5-15 in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, but are 5-6 in the last 6 years.
- A&M is 4-3 all-time in the event at Sprint Center ... the first time the event was held in the building (2008), the Aggies doubled their all-time victory total by beating Iowa State (60-47) and Kansas State (63-60) before falling in the semifinals to eventual national champion Kansas (77-71).
- The Aggies were the No. 3 seed last year, and advanced to the semifinals with an 86-71 thumping of No. 6-seed Missouri ... A&M then faced No. 2-seed Texas in the semifinals, where the Aggies eventually fell 70-58.
- A&M has an all-time record of 21-34 in conference postseason tournaments.
- In 20 previous Big 12 Championship games, the Aggies are 5-8 against the North Division and 0-7 against the South Division.
12 Championship All-Time Results (5-15)
Year Site Round Result
1997 Kemper Arena, Kansas City First Round (#6) Oklahoma 67 (#11) Texas A&M 58
1998 Kemper Arena, Kansas City First Round (#5) Baylor 66 (#12) Texas A&M 63
1999 Kemper Arena, Kansas City First Round (#7) Kansas State 87 (#10) Texas A&M 76
2000 Kemper Arena, Kansas City First Round (#7) Colorado 79 (#10) Texas A&M 53
2001 Kemper Arena, Kansas City First Round (#6) Missouri 77 (#11) Texas A&M 62
2002 Kemper Arena, Kansas City First Round (#5) Texas Tech 80 (#12) Texas A&M 71
2003 American Airlines Center, Dallas First Round (#9) Iowa State 97 (#8) Texas A&M 70
2004 American Airlines Center, Dallas First Round (#6) Missouri 74 (#11) Texas A&M 68
2005 Kemper Arena, Kansas City First Round (#10) Kansas State 68 (#7) Texas A&M 62
2006 American Airlines Center, Dallas Quarterfinals (#4) Texas A&M 86 (#5) Colorado 53
Semifinals (#1) Texas 74 (#4) Texas A&M 70
2007 Ford Center, Oklahoma City Quarterfinals (#7) Oklahoma State 58 (#2) Texas A&M 56
2008 Sprint Center, Kansas City First Round (#6) Texas A&M 60 (#11) Iowa State 47
Quarterfinals (#6) Texas A&M 63 (#3) Kansas State 60
Semifinals (#2) Kansas 77 (#6) Texas A&M 71
2009 Ford Center, Oklahoma City First Round (#11) Texas Tech 88 (#6) Texas A&M 83
2010 Sprint Center, Kansas City Quarterfinals (#4) Texas A&M 70 (#12) Nebraska 64
Semifinals (#1) Kansas 79 (#4) Texas A&M 66
2011 Sprint Center, Kansas City Quarterfinals (#3) Texas A&M 86 (#6) Missouri 71
Semifinals (#2) Texas 70 (#3) Texas A&M 58
Series History at the Big 12 Championship
at Sprint Center: 4-3
as Higher Seed: 4-3
as Lower Seed: 1-12
as No. 1 Seed/vs No. 1 Seed: - 0-2
as No. 2 Seed/vs No. 2 Seed: 0-1 0-2
as No. 3 Seed/vs No. 3 Seed: 1-1 1-0
as No. 4 Seed/vs No. 4 Seed: 2-2 -
as No. 5 Seed/vs No. 5 Seed: - 1-2
as No. 6 Seed/vs No. 6 Seed: 2-2 1-3
as No. 7 Seed/vs No. 7 Seed: 0-1 0-3
as No. 8 Seed/vs No. 8 Seed: 0-1 -
as No. 9 Seed/vs No. 9 Seed: - 0-1
as No. 10 Seed/vs No. 10 Seed: 0-2 0-1
as No. 11 Seed/vs No. 11 Seed: 0-3 1-1
as No. 12 Seed/vs No. 12 Seed: 0-2 1-0
- Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 29-9, but Texas A&M has won 5 of the last 6 against OU and 8 of the last 12 overall ... all but one of the Aggies' wins in the series, which dates back to 1960, have come in the last 4 years.
- The Sooners snapped a 5-game losing skid to A&M with a narrow 65-62 win on Saturday in Norman ... the Aggies rallied to take the first meeting this year in overtime, 81-75, at Reed Arena (Jan. 21).
- 10 of the last 15 meetings between the schools have been decided by single digits.
- The teams have met just once prior in the Big 12 Championship, and it was the inaugural game in the event for both teams back in 1997 ... No. 6-seed OU topped 11th-seeded A&M, 67-58, on March 6, 1997 at Kemper Arena.
- KU leads the all-time series between the schools, 19-1 ... A&M's lone win in the series came at Allen Fieldhouse in a battle of top-10 teams back in 2007 ... the Aggies topped KU, 69-66.
- The Jayhawks swept the season series this year, posting a 10-point win in Lawrence (Jan. 23) and escaping Reed Arena with an 8-point victory (Feb. 22).
- The teams have met twice in the Big 12 Championship, both in the semifinals and both in Kansas City ... KU survived a semifinal matchup in 2008, 77-71 ... two years ago, the Jayhawks rallied from behind and then held off the Aggies in a 79-66 victory at Sprint Center.
- Texas A&M leads the series-the second most-played in school history-127-78 ... the teams have met at least twice in each of the last 81 seasons ... the last time the Aggies and Bears did not play in basketball was the 1929-30 campaign.
- Baylor posted narrow victories in both of this year's matchups, including a 3-point victory at Reed Arena (Feb. 1) ... the last 7 meetings between the schools-which sit just 88 miles apart-have been decided by an average of 5 points.
- The Aggies' and Bears' lone meeting in the Big 12 Championship came in the event's second year, 1998 ... fifth-seeded Baylor squeaked past A&M, 66-63, just eight days after the Aggies' posted their lone conference win of '98 over Baylor to close the doors on G. Rollie White Coliseum (80-75 on Feb. 28).
- K-State leads the series with A&M, 17-7 ... the Wildcats took both of this year's meetings, rallying for a 64-53 victory in Manhattan (Feb. 4) and holding off a late Aggie charge at Reed Arena to win, 76-70 (Feb. 28).
- Along with Missouri, K-State is A&M's most common opponent at the Big 12 Championship (3 games) ... the Wildcats defeated the Aggies in opening-round action in 1999 and 2005, while A&M upset KSU 63-60 in the 2008 quarterfinals.
- OU assistant Lew Hill was on Melvin Watkins' staff at Texas A&M for his six seasons (1998-04).
- Aggie G Naji Hibbert and Sooner F Andrew Fitzgerald both hail from Baltimore and teammates in AAU ball (Team Melo).
- A&M's first-year strength coach Darby Rich spent five seasons in the same position at Oklahoma.
- A&M assistant Kyle Keller spent the last three seasons on Bill Self's staff at Kansas.
- Aggie coach Billy Kennedy and Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend spent four seasons together at the University of California (1993-97) under Todd Bozeman and Ben Braun, helping the Golden Bears to three NCAA Tournaments and the 1997 Sweet 16.
- A&M freshman Jordan Green and K-State freshman Thomas Gipson were AAU teammates (Team Texas).
- Aggie associate head coach Glynn Cyprien spent four seasons with Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State (2000-04), helping lead the Cowboys to 97 wins and four straight NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the 2004 Final Four in San Antonio.
- A&M assistant Kyle Keller spent nine seasons at OSU (1999-2008) on the staffs of Eddie and Shawn Sutton ... he was on the Cowboys' staff for an Elite Eight run in 2000 and a trip to the Final Four in 2004.
- A&M coach Billy Kennedy is close friends with Missouri head coach Frank Haith ... after eight years as a head coach, including leading Southeastern Louisiana to the NCAA Tournament in 2005, Kennedy joined Haith's staff at the University of Miami as an assistant for the 2005-06 season ... upon helping lead Miami to the quarterfinals of the NIT that year, Kennedy got the head job at Murray State, where he spent five seasons.
- Mizzou assistant coach Issac Chew spent four seasons on Billy Kennedy's staff at Murray State (2007-11).
- Haith spent four seasons in Aggieland on Tony Barone's staff in the 1990s ... Haith was an assistant for three years (1992-95), helping the Aggies to the NIT in 1994-their first postseason trip in seven years ... he then went to Penn State for one season before returning to A&M as Barone's associate head coach for one year (1996-97), the Aggies' first in the Big 12.
- Aggie junior Khris Middleton spent several days this summer with Missouri's Marcus Denmon and Kim English, as the trio were part of the USA Basketball World University Games Team Training Camp in Colorado Springs.
- Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie was the head coach at Texas A&M for three seasons (2004-07), leading A&M to three straight postseason appearances (2005 NIT, 2006 & 2007 NCAA) ... the '07 Aggies advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and achieved a high ranking of No. 6 that year ... Gillispie ended his tenure in Aggieland with a record of 70-26.
- Several members of the Aggie program have worked with Gillispie, including associate head coach Glynn Cyprien (two seasons at Kentucky, 2007-09); athletic assistant Peter Warden (director of operations at A&M, and at UK, 2007-09); athletic trainer Matt Doles (two years at UTEP, 2002-04, and three at A&M, 2004-07); and director of student-athlete development Barry Davis (one year at A&M, 2006-07).
- Two Aggies-senior David Loubeau and junior Elston Turner-earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in a vote of the league's head coaches.
- Aggie opponents are averaging just 61.1 points per game ... only three A&M teams have allowed fewer points in the shot clock era, 2006-07 (59.4 ppg), 2005-06 (60.3 ppg) and 2010-11 (60.9 ppg).
- A&M held Big 12 opponents to 64.6 points per game, the third-lowest total in school history behind 2006 (62.2 ppg) and 2011 (63.7 ppg).
- A&M's 3-point FG% defense percentage of 30.7 is the second-lowest in school history, trailing only the '06-07 team (29.4).
- The Aggies lead the Big 12 in scoring defense (61.1/gm) ... they rank second in 3-point FG% defense (30.7), and third in defensive rebound percentage (71.5) and field-goal percentage defense (40.4).
- Only four of 18 Aggie opponents scored more than 70 points in Big 12 play: Kansas State (76), Oklahoma (75 in OT), Iowa State (74) and Missouri (71) ... A&M held 10 league foes at or under 65 points this season.
- The Aggie defense competed hard against the best offenses the league had to offer in Missouri, Kansas and Baylor ... A&M held all three teams below their season field-goal percentages and well below their season point averages:
Aggie defense vs Big 12's top offenses (as of 3/4)
Opponent FG% (NCAA Rk) FG% vs A&M PPG (NCAA Rk) PPG vs A&M
Missouri 49.9 ( 3) 47.7 79.7 ( 8) 70.5
Kansas 48.4 (16) 40.6 74.9 (35) 65.0
Baylor 47.4 (26) 39.4 74.5 (39) 62.0
COMBINED 48.5 42.3 76.3 65.8
- A&M finished league play with just 4 wins but were in many close games ... half of A&M's Big 12 games (9 of 18) were decided by fewer than 10 points, with the Aggies posting a 2-7 record in those contests.
- The Aggies' last 5 home losses came by an average of 5.6 points (No. 6 Baylor, Texas, No. 3 Missouri, No. 4 KU, and K-State).
- A&M has played five top-5 opponents this year, a new school record ... all came in Big 12 play, also a school record ... back-to-back games against Missouri (No. 3) and Kansas (No. 4) in late February marked the first time in school history the Aggies had played two straight against top-5 foes.
- Seven of A&M's losses this year have come to teams currently ranked in the top 13 nationally, four of which have come away from home (#4 Kansas [twice], #8 Missouri [twice], #10 Baylor [twice], #13 Florida).
- A&M's senior class of 2012 will go down as one of the winningest in program history ... the Class of '12 has 85 wins, fifth most all-time at A&M behind 2010 (100), 2009 (98), 2011 (97) and 2008 (95).
- The Aggies won 53 Big 12 games since the start of the 2007 league season ... prior to that, A&M had totaled only 43 victories in the first 10 years of Big 12 play (53-43 from 2006-2012, 43-116 from 1997-2006).
- A&M is one of just 12 schools that have made the NCAA Tournament in each of the previous 6 seasons (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Villanova, Wisconsin, Xavier).
- Texas A&M is one of only 8 schools in the entire country that had won 24 or more games in each of the previous 5 seasons (Butler, BYU, Kansas, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, VCU, Xavier).
- Over the last 6 games, A&M has shot 47 percent from the floor in the second half compared to just 36 percent in the first.
- The Aggies have out-scored their opponents in the second half in 3 of their last 4 games (Kansas, K-State, Oklahoma).
- The Aggies allowed just two Big 12 opponents to score more points than its season average (Oklahoma, who needed OT to do so, and Kansas State).
- A&M shot 69.8 percent from the line in the second half of Big 12 games, while shooting just 60.4 percent in the first half.
- Texas A&M's starting rotation saw lots of action in conference play ... in Big 12 games, A&M starters averaged 29 minutes a game (after averaging 25 a game in non-conference play) ... all five starters played at least 30 minutes against Texas (Jan. 11), the first time that's happened on an Aggie team since March 2007 (Big 12 quarterfinal vs Oklahoma State).
- A&M saw its free-throw percentage take a slight up-turn in Big 12 play ... the Aggies shot 61.6 percent from the line in non-conference play, but shot 66.7 percent in Big 12 action.
- The Aggies are 12-0 this year when leading with 5 minutes to play and 11-3 this year when leading at halftime (losses at Kansas, at K-State, home Texas).
- A&M is 11-3 when holding opponents under 40 percent from the field (losses to Baylor, Baylor and Kansas).
- The Aggies have held 11 of their opponents under 60 points and are unbeaten in those games.
- A&M has held 8 opponents under 35 percent shooting (8-0).
- The Aggies are 9-2 this year when shooting more free throws than their opponent (loss to Texas, at Iowa State) and 10-2 when out-rebounding them (losses to Texas, K-State).
- The Aggies have won 4 of their last 5 overtime games dating back to last season.
- A&M has won nearly 70 percent of its games since the start of the 2006-07 season (137-62, .688) ... the Aggies are 179-80 (.691) since the start of the '04-05 campaign.
- an honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick by the league's head coaches.
- averaged 36.2 minutes in Big 12 play, third-highest in the league ... ranked fourth in Big 12 play in 3-pointers made (2.5/gm).
- in the top 10 of the Big 12 rankings in four categories (points, minutes, 3-point field goals, 3-pt %) this season.
- averaged 14.8 points per game in Big 12 play, eighth-best in the league ... scored 10+ points in 14 of 18 league games and posted six 20-point games in Big 12 play.
- has hit 69 3-pointers this season, ranking seventh on the school's all-time single-season charts ... 45 have come in conference play, ranking second all-time (including Big 12 and SWC) ... charts on page 8.
- became the first Aggie since Acie Law in 2007 to score 20-plus in three straight Big 12 games (23 vs OU - 1/21, 24 at KU - 1/23, 23 vs OSU - 1/28).
- In 7 games against ranked opponents (all ranked 13th or higher), is averaging 14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
- has scored 10-plus points in 22 games this year ... he did so just 9 times in 66 games in two seasons at Washington.
- closing in on 1,000 career points (944) ... needs 56 to reach the milestone ... would become 33rd player in school history to do so (1,000-point club listed on page 8).
- got the starting nod in the last five games, averaging a team-high 14.8 points and ranking second on squad with 4.8 rebounds over that span ... scored 23 (8-14 FG) with 5 boards against No. 4 Kansas (2/22).
- missed 5 games in middle of league play after re-injuring knee early in OT win over Oklahoma (1/21) ... underwent surgery (11/11) to repair partially torn meniscus in right knee ... suffered injury in season opener vs Liberty (11/9) ... missed 7 games, returned vs ULM (12/10).
- picked up first double-double of career at Texas (1/11), 19 pts, 10 rebs ... 10 boards were a career high.
- an honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick by the league's head coaches.
- has hit double figures in four straight and 11 of last 14 games.
- shooting 60 percent from floor over last 2 games (12-for-20), while averaging 14 points, 4 rebounds.
- became only the 16th player in school history this year to score 1,000 career points and grab 500 career rebounds ... ranks 19th all-time in scoring (1,192 points) and 18th all-time in rebounds (571).
- has played in 131 career games, fifth all-time in program history ... is one of only six players in Big 12 history to play in more than 64 career league games (66), joining Missouri's Marcus Denmon and Kim English, Baylor's Quincy Acy, K-State's Jamar Samuels and Oklahoma State's Keiton Page.
- averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists in Big 12 play, all personal bests ... matched a career high with 14 in win over OU (1/21) ... hit double figures in 4 of 11 Big 12 games.
- 11 points, 5 assists, season-high 5 steals against K-State on Tuesday.
- returned to floor vs No. 4 Kansas (2/22) after missing previous 7 games with right foot injury ... played 24 minutes off bench, scoring 8 points, grabbing 3 boards and dishing out 4 assists ... then made first start since Jan. 23 at OSU (2/25).
- leads the team in assists (4.3/game), steals (1.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2) ... a/to ratio ranks third in the Big 12 ... ranks sixth in the league in steals.
- one of only 8 players in A&M history to record 300 assists and 100 steals (list on page 9) ... moved into the top 10 in school history in career assists and steals in win over Texas Tech (Jan. 14) ... ranks seventh in assists (375) and eighth in steals (139).
- averaged 8.3 points and 5.8 rebounds and shot 62 percent in final four Big 12 games (Big 12 totals: 7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 53% FG).
- has scored 10-plus points in 16 games this year.
- named to the Academic All-Big 12 second team.
- has posted four double-doubles-the first of his career-including a 13-point, 12-rebound effort against Iowa State (1/7) and a 13-point, 11-board game against Baylor (2/1)... his 15 boards vs Arkansas Tech (12/29) were a career high and the most by an Aggie in a game since March 2010.
- has hit 56 percent of 3-point shots (9-of-16) over his last 7 games.
- poured in a season-high 14 at Kansas State (2/4).
- shot 40% from floor and 47% from 3-point range overall in Big 12 play (31% FG, 14% 3-pt FG in non-conference action).
- appeared in all 30 regular-season games as a true freshman, earning 13 starts.
- averaged 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 30.5 minutes in back-to-back games vs Tech and No. 3 Missouri ... scored season (and career) high 14 (6-8 FG) against Mizzou (2/18).
- played a career-high 32 minutes in win at Texas Tech (2/14) ... scored 9 points and matched a season high with 5 rebounds while dishing out a team-best 3 assists.
- strong 31 minutes of play against OSU (1/28) after getting the starting nod ... scored 8 points on 4-of-6 shooting, a personal best in Big 12 play ... primary focus was limiting Cowboys' guard Keiton Page (entered 14.7 ppg), and held him to 2-of-13 from the floor and 9 total points.
- started 12 of A&M's Big 12 games at the "5" position ... averaged 18.6 minutes in league play.
- nice job on the court in Khris Middleton's absence (Jan. 21-Feb. 11) ... over a 6-game span, averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds and shot 50 percent from the floor ... while in the starting rotation for 4 games, averaged 30.8 minutes.
- set career highs in consecutive games last month, scoring 12 against Baylor (2/1) after posting 11 against Oklahoma State (1/28) on 5-of-6 shooting.