Come Selection Sunday, Alabama’s win over No. 5 Texas A&M is going to look marvelous.
The Crimson Tide beat the Aggies down behind 18 points from John Petty, who led four players in double-figures. The final score was 79-57, and A&M shot 30 percent from the floor and 2-for-21 from three.
It wasn’t pretty.
It also wasn’t the full assortment of Aggies that Alabama could have faced.
Texas A&M leading scorer D.J. Hogg did not play on Saturday. He sat out the second of a three game suspension for violating a school policy. Hogg is not only A&M’s leading scorer, but he is their best three-point shooter and the guy that is capable of creating the most space in the paint for the likes of Tyler Davis and Robert Williams.
Admon Gilder, A&M’s starting off-guard and their third-leading scorer and second-leading assister, also missed the game. He reportedly had a surgical procedure to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and could be out for another week or two based on the initial projections. He also happens to be A&M’s second-best three-point shooter.
With that in mind, it really should not come as a surprise that the Aggies lost a road game to a good Alabama team or that they had a nightmare trying to shoot the rock in the process.
So give credit to the Crimson Tide.
They dominated a team they should dominate and won a game they needed to win. The NCAA tournament selection committee factors in players missing losses for the team missing the players but not for the team beating the team missing players. This is going to make their profile look a whole lot better when it doesn’t necessarily mean that this team is any better than we initially thought.
But that’s all that really matters, right?
Maybe this win helps get Alabama on the right side of the bubble. Or maybe it means that they end up as, say, a No. 7 seed instead of a No. 8 seed and get someone like Wichita State in their bracket instead of Villanova or Michigan State.
Either way, it helps.