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Archive for Thursday, March 20, 2008

A&M, BYU programs on the rise

March 20, 2008

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— Brigham Young and Texas A&M have enviable football traditions.

That's fitting, because they meet today in the NCAA Tournament's version of a coin toss - the game between the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds.

The eighth-seeded Cougars (27-7) and ninth-seeded Aggies (24-10), who play in the opening round of the West Regional, have plenty in common.

The Cougars went 9-21 in 2004-05. The Aggies are four years removed from a 7-21 record.

Both teams have had rapid revivals. And both know that NCAA tournament success can raise a program's national profile in a heartbeat, although they'd be wise not to look too far ahead.

The winner likely will draw top-seeded UCLA in the second round.

"In today's era of college basketball, media, fans, everyone starts talking about teams' resumes in November for the national tournament," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "And so now that you are here, you want to seize that opportunity and do the best you can."

The Aggies hope to build on last year's run to the round of 16, which ended in a one-point loss to second-seeded Memphis.

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