Put on your dancing shoes

Once upon a time…

  • 1951
    1st round: A&M – 40, #15 Washington – 62
  • 1964
    1st round: A&M – 62, Texas Western – 68
  • 1969
    1st round: A&M – 81, Trinity – 66
    Regional semis: A&M – 63, #11 Drake – 81
    Regional consolation: A&M – 82, #18 Colorado – 97
  • 1975
    1st round: A&M – 79, #17 Cincinnati – 87
  • 1980
    1st round: A&M – 55, Bradley – 53
    2nd round: A&M – 78, #15 North Carolina – 61 (OT)
    Regional semis: A&M – 55, #2 Louisville – 66 (OT)
  • 1987
    1st round: A&M – 51, #17 Duke – 58

And now, the next chapter: Texas A&M earned an at-large bid to the 2006 NCAA men’s basketball tournament as the 12th seed in the Atlanta bracket, the Aggies’ first NCAA berth since my freshman year in college, when I skipped my afternoon classes on the opening day of the first round to watch us eventually lose to Duke in a closer-than-expected game.

The bad news: The Aggies’ first round matchup on Thursday is against #5 seed Syracuse, who just completed a miraculous run to the Big East conference tourney title.

The good news: Pretty much every year, there’s a 5-12 upset in the first round—so why not A&M? Just two seasons ago, the Aggies finished 7-21 (including 0-16 in Big 12 play). Then came last year’s remarkable turnaround and NIT bid. And now, the Big Dance. So why not A&M?

Now the question becomes whether or not a sudden “illness” will befall me come Thursday and force me to call in sick to work…

Follow-up (Mar 13, 2006): It’s turning into a banner year for Aggie hoops: Today, the A&M women’s basketball team also received an invitation to the NCAA tournament as the #6 seed in the Cleveland regional. They open against #11 seed TCU on Sunday. Gig ’em, Aggies!