Texas A&M early-season SEC surprise

secwheel2Three games into the SEC basketball season, not many are surprised that Florida is one of two teams sitting atop the conference standings. Few, however, could have predicted that the Gators would be sharing the spot with Texas A&M.

After a so-so 9-4 non-conference slate, which included a 20-point home loss to North Texas, the Aggies are 3-0 in SEC play with wins over Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina.

The most impressive was the 57-56 win over Tennessee last Saturday in which Billy Kennedy’s team rallied from a 32-18 halftime deficit to upset the Vols in Knoxville. Antwan Space drained a three-pointer with 4.4 seconds left to win it as A&M outscored UT 39-24 in the second half.

The Aggies are on the road for their next two games — at Mississippi State on Saturday, then at Rupp Arena to face Kentucky in a 9 p.m. game on Tuesday night.

Among the five teams at 2-1 in conference play, Georgia is the biggest surprise, yet the Bulldogs fell back to earth with a 72-50 loss at Florida on Tuesday. Mark Fox’s team plays host to Arkansas on Saturday.

One of the more interesting games Saturday is Alabama at Missouri. The Crimson Tide is 2-1 after an 80-61 thumping of visiting Mississippi State on Wednesday. A win over Mizzou would be huge for Anthony Grant’s team, which has home games against Florida and LSU next week.

Missouri is coming off a 78-75 loss at Vanderbilt on Thursday night. The Commodores went 12-of-32 from three-point range to get the win. A loss to Alabama on Saturday would drop Frank Haith’s club to 1-3 in league play.

And Ole Miss has a good shot at going 3-1 in league play given that the Rebels are at South Carolina on Saturday. Frank Martin’s Gamecocks are 0-3 in the conference and 7-9 overall after the 75-67 loss at Texas A&M on Wednesday.

SEC basketball game-by-game results, leaders and schedule in Excel

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