February 5, 2007

A&M tries to stay on top of Big 12 against Texas

Texas A&M earned possibly the most important win in program history Saturday when it beat No. 6 Kansas in Lawrence, 69-66. But it can be argued that A&M's win over Texas at home last season is even bigger as it propelled the Aggies into their first NCAA tournament since 1987, and the current team into the spotlight.

A&M (19-3, 7-1 Big 12) gets to face a new look Texas (16-6, 6-2) team Monday at Reed Arena and hopes to capitalize on its groundbreaking win at Kansas and stay atop the Big 12 standings. The Longhorns start five new players from a season ago, four freshmen and a sophomore, including Kevin Durant who is rewriting the Big 12 conference record books in scoring each time he hits the court.

But while the play of Durant and A&M's Acie Law may be at the forefront in the media in talking about this game, the real match up will be how two contrasting styles compare with one another. The Aggies play a half-court style with stifling defense while moving the ball to get high percentage shots.

Texas, however, plays small and fast with no true post players in the starting lineup. Instead of playing strong defense, the Longhorns like to run the ball and play a Phoenix Suns type of game. They have the athletes to put up lots of points.

But which system will win out in the end? Tip off for the first installment of this season's Lone Star Showdown is tonight at 8 p.m.

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