The spring season is in full swing as Aggie baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball were all in action over the weekend. It was a mixed bag for Aggie baseball as they split their opening weekend series with UW-Milwaukee winning games one and four. Aggie softball split six games in the Troy Cox Classic picking a win over Missouri-Kansas City, splitting with Penn State and Colorado State and losing in extra innings to Texas Tech. The Aggie softball team is back in action tomorrow night when they host Rio Grande Rival UNM for the second time in eight days.
The Aggie women's basketball team snapped their nine-game losing streak in style over the weekend defeating San Jose State and Utah State while scoring a combined 196 points on the weekend. The Aggies' turnaround may have actually started back in Seattle. We noted after the game that even though the Aggies lost by 16 points, it was a much more competitive game than the final score revealed. The Aggies trailed 38-15 at halftime but caught fire and scored 47 second-half points which led us to tweet the following: Aggies scored 47 points in the 2nd half. Impressive when you consider theirlast 3 gms their 40 min pt totals-49, 53, 53. The improved offensive output culminated in the Aggies' 106 point outbreak on Saturday night. The Aggies scored a mind-boggling 67 points in the second half which is impressive by itself but consider this... that second half total is more than the Aggies have scored in SEVENTEEN different games this season!. Think about that for a minute.
Over the weekend the Aggies looked a lot more like the team we thought might compete for a WAC title during the regular season. Unfortunately it hasn't quite worked out that way but the Aggies may be peaking at the right time -- late February and early March. While the two wins didn't move the Aggies up the standings any, it did help keep them out of last place which they would have fallen to had they lost both games. With three games left it's still likely that the Aggies will have to play in Tuesday's first round action (which pits the 7-seed vs. the 10-seed and 8-seed vs. the 9-seed) but a streaking Aggie team would definitely be a team that none of the top teams would want to face.
On a side note, Danesia Williamson was named WAC Player of the Week for her efforts in the weekend sweep as she averaged 21 points and 10 assists in the two games.
The Aggie men's basketball team dropped their first game of 2013 losing at Utah State on Saturday night. The Aggie men fall to 12-3 in conference play and now need a lot of things to go their way if they're going to win the regular season title. The Aggies would need Louisiana Tech to lose three of their final four games which is entirely possible given that LA Tech hosts Utah State and then travels to New Mexico State and Denver to end the season. The Aggies would also need to win out which means beating Denver on the road and avenging the opening weekend losses against Louisiana Tech and UT-Arlington. If those scenarios play out the Aggies would at least share the regular season title with LA Tech and Denver and could win outright if Denver loses more than once and LA Tech has an epic collapse and loses all four of their remaining conference games which seems unlikely.
Saturday's loss at Utah State was certainly an opportunity lost because while it doesn't mathematically eliminate the Aggies from regular season title contention and the top seed, it does make it quite a bit more difficult as we noted in the scenarios above. You're probably thinking, why all the talk about the regular season title and the top seed? Don't the Aggies need to win the WAC tournament to make the NCAA tournament? Yes. That is the case, the Aggies are not an at-large team, however, many people forget that the winner of the regular season title (and top seed after tiebreakers) earn an automatic bid into the NIT should they fail to win the conference tournament. The Aggies would guarantee themselves some sort of postseason bid should they win the regular season title and the top seed.
As it would appear now (barring a minor miracle) it's NCAA tourney or bust given the Aggies' reluctance to play in one of the "pay for play" postseason tournaments (CBI, CIT, etc.) and it appears unlikely that the Aggies would reverse their stance on playing in one of those tournaments.