Davis, Aggies Pound BYU, 79-66

An early lead, dominance on the boards ensure victory for Texas A&M

The Big 12 Conference announced its presence in the NCAA Tournament with authority Thursday in Philadelphia.

The third toughest and most disrespected conference in the nation was represented by the Texas A&M Aggies at the Wachovia Center, as they took on the BYU Cougars in a rematch of last year’s west regional opener.

That affair ended with the Aggies on top, 67-62. There was no such competitiveness in 2009.

CBS deemed the game over, or over enough to switch to the LSU-Butler contest, about halfway through the second half -- and with good reason. It was a merciless beating, particularly in the early stages, and BYU found themselves playing catch-up in vain for about 37 minutes.

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The Cougars jumped to their only lead in the opening minutes, 3-0, before Texas A&M poured in 11 straight. Bryan Davis had 8 points in the first eight minutes and finished with 21.

Davis also pulled down nine rebounds, second only to Chinemelu Elonu, who had 10 off the bench.

A series of careless turnovers kept the Cougars in the game, more or less, but dominance in the rebound department and a 12-point halftime lead ensured the Aggies’ first round victory, 79-66.

Texas A&M out-rebounded BYU 32-24, though they dominated the boards with certainty in the first half. This was crucial in their early lead, which proved ultimately insurmountable.

The Aggies will advance to play either Connecticut or Chattanooga (probably UConn) on Saturday.

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