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March Madness: Houston survives Texas A&M rally, buzzer-beater to advance past Aggies in OT thriller

March 25th, 2024

Houston appeared to have Sunday’s win over Texas A&M in the bag in regulation.

Instead, the top-seeded Cougars found themselves in furious fight down the stretch that threatened their NCAA tournament lives. Texas A&M rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final two minutes to force overtime. But Houston survived in a 100-95 thriller to advance to a Sweet 16 showdown with Duke.

Houston led, 82-71 lead with 1:48 remaining. But the Aggies rallied and cut the lead to 86-83 with 45 seconds left. They then had two looks at game-tying 3-pointers in the game’s final 10 seconds. Both missed.

But officials whistled a jump ball with 1.2 seconds remaining on the rebound, ensuring possession for Texas A&M. This time, the Aggies didn’t miss. Andersson Garcia caught an inbounds pass off the bounce then connected on a 3-pointer to tie the game at the buzzer.

Houston looked in bad shape heading into overtime. Starters Ja’Vier Francis and L.J. Cryer watched on the bench after both fouled out in regulation. Jamal Shead and Emanuel Sharp joined them on the bench after fouling out in the extra session. But before he fouled out, Shead scored five points in overtime and assisted on a Sharp 3-pointer that got the scoring started in the extra session.

When the final buzzer sounded after a furious final stanza, it spelled relief for the top-seeded Cougars. For Texas A&M, it meant heartbreak.

The score amounted to a shootout for Houston, which is used to locking down opponents. Houston entered Sunday’s game allowing an NCAA-low 57 points per game and 37.8% field-goal percentage. It ranked ranked first in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency and held 10 opponents this season to fewer than 50 points en route to a No. 1 seed.

Texas A&M outplayed all those measures on Sunday and kept pressure on Houston until the final buzzer. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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