Texas A&M Aggies: 20-12, 9-9 in the SEC

Head coach: Billy Kennedy (7th season)

Players to watch: Tyler Davis (14.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG); Robert Williams (10.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG); Admon Gilder (12.2 PPG, 40.0 3PT%, 4.2 RPG)

Season recap: The 2017-18 season could hardly have started any better for Texas A&M, which knocked off then-No. 11 West Virginia in its season opener and went on to win 11 of its first 12 games. However, the Aggies ran into trouble at the beginning of conference play as they dropped their SEC opener to unranked Alabama, the first in a stretch of five consecutive losses that knocked them from their previous top-10 spot in the AP Poll. 

Texas A&M went on to lose four more games in conference play, but managed to balance its losses with several big wins, including back-to-back victories against then-No. 8 Auburn and then-No. 24 Kentucky. The Aggies were riding high entering postseason play coming off a three-game winning streak, but were tripped up by Alabama for an early exit in the SEC tournament.

With only occasional exceptions, the starting lineup has revolved around Tyler Davis, Robert Williams and D.J. Hogg in the post and Admon Gilder at the wing this season. Freshman T.J. Starks has emerged as a more than suitable replacement at guard for senior Duane Wilson, who was lost for the season to injury in mid-January. Starks is averaging 9.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per game at guard. But Texas A&M's real strength is in the frontcourt, where Davis, Williams and Hogg anchor the 12th-best rebounding team in the nation. Williams was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year after averaging more than 2.6 blocks per game.

How they make a run: The Aggies use their strength down low to control the post against smaller teams in the paint and the hot shooting of Gilder and the versatile Hogg to reach their highest final ranking since finishing at No. 15 in 2016.

How they falter: Starks struggles to control the ball on the wing, the team suffers without the on-court leadership of Wilson in the tournament, and Williams, Davis and Hogg can’t provide enough in the paint to prevent Texas A&M from suffering its second early tournament exit in two weeks.