SEC Basketball Thursday Predictions: Texas A&M at Vanderbilt

In SEC Basketball by Blake Lovell

There’s only one game on tonight’s SEC basketball schedule, with Texas A&M and Vanderbilt taking center stage.

Can the Commodores bounce back from a brutal loss at Missouri? Or will the Aggies finally put it all together and walk out victorious?

Let’s get to the thoughts on the game.

Season Prediction Record: 49-30 (conference play + SEC/Big 12 Challenge)

Texas A&M (13-11, 5-7) at Vanderbilt (12-13, 5-7) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2

The Commodores saw their NCAA bubble chances take a massive hit in a 20-point loss at Missouri.

It’s bad when a college basketball team doesn’t hit a field goal in the final 12:13 of the game, but it’s even worse when it does it against one of the worst teams in its conference.

That was Vandy’s situation last Saturday. Bryce Drew’s squad simply couldn’t find baskets on offense, and a big reason was the continued reliance on the three-point shot. All season long, we’ve talked about the Commodores being a team that will go as far as their three-pointers take them.

If those shots are going in, Vandy can beat anyone. If they aren’t, Vandy can lose by 20 at Missouri.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M is still a team with obvious flaws. There’s enough talent here for the Aggies to win a decent chunk of games down the stretch, but their play has been so sporadic that it’s impossible to know which team will show up night in and night out.

For example, take the home game a few weeks ago against the Commodores. A&M came into the game off a four-point loss at West Virginia, so it felt like this team was about to turn a corner.

Naturally, the Aggies followed it up by letting Vandy cruise to a 68-54 victory.

The key to success for the Commodores in that game? Balance. Five players scored between 10 and 12 points in that game, and when Drew gets that type of production from his team, it usually results in a victory.

Now that my streak of incorrectly predicting Vandy games is over, I can pick this one with a clearer mind.

The Commodores have won the following game after each of their last three SEC losses.

Drew gets them back on track at home in a close game from start to finish.

Prediction: Vanderbilt 71, Texas A&M 68

Blake Lovell has worked in sports media for over 10 years. His work has been featured on The New York Times, Rivals, Time Warner Cable, Scout.com, FanRag Sports, FanSided and many more. He currently covers SEC football and basketball for various publications.