#11 Northern Iowa (23-12) vs #3 Texas A&M (27-8)
When: Sunday, March 20th 2016
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Time: 7:40 ET | TV: truTV
The Texas A&M Aggies look to advance to their first Sweet 16 since 2007 when they take on the upstart Northern Iowa Panthers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies rolled to a victory in their opening round game by routing Wisconsin Green Bay 92-65. Texas A&M shot 56.1% for the game and won for the 9th time in their last 10 games. The Aggies played with a chip on their shoulders after feeling slighted by Kentucky coach John Calipari’s comments that his team deserved to be the higher-seeded of the two. “There is still more respect to be earned,” House told the media. “People were really upset about (Calipari’s comments), and it really bothered us.” Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored a career high-tying 15 points, pulled down six rebounds, and even dished out four assists in 21 minutes, while freshman Tyler Davis chipped in 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting. House led the way with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Alex Caruso (7.7 points, 5.1 assists) had an off game with just three points and 6 turnovers. He has 10 turnovers in the last two games after committing a total of six over his previous six contests.
Northern Iowa beat Texas on Friday by virtue of one of the most dramatic shots you’ll ever see. With the game tied at 72, Paul Jespersen heaved the ball from beyond half court and banked it in as the buzzer sounded to shock the Longhorns and send Panther fans into a frenzy. It marked the third straight tournament appearance in which Northern Iowa won a game and puts the program a victory away from its second Sweet 16 berth. Jesperson’s 14 points made him one of five Panthers in double figures against Texas. Wes Washpun (17 points) and Jeremy Morgan (16) also helped one of the top foul-shooting teams in the country go 25-of-32 from the line. Northern Iowa hopes to get more from second-leading scorer Matt Bohannon (11.7 points), who is averaging seven points on 25.7% shooting over his last five games. Sophomore forward Klint Carlson (7.1) is trending in the other direction with an average of 11 points on 58.3% shooting in his last five.
Texas A&M should advance in this one, but the way this tournament is going, nothing is a lock. This Northern Iowa team is more than capable of winning this game, so I’ll grab the 6.5 points and sit back and watch another great tournament game.
Pick: Northern Iowa +6.5