• WHEN/WHERE: 9 p.m. Thursday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
• TV/RADIO: KSMO (Ch. 62); KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)
• ABOUT TEXAS A&M (18-14): The 11th-seeded Aggies had lost four of its previous five games before beating Auburn in the SEC Tournament first round Wednesday night. … Texas A&M handed Missouri a 70-68 loss on Feb. 7 in College Station. … Texas A&M last won a conference tournament title in 1987 — in the Southwest Conference. … The Aggies are 1-2 all-time in games at Nashville with both losses coming at Vanderbilt.
• ABOUT MISSOURI (22-9): The sixth-seeded Tigers are coming off a disappointing 64-62 loss at Tennessee in which they blew another late lead on the road. … Senior forward Laurence Bowers is averaging 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds over his last three games. … The last time the Tigers played in their first league tournament, legendary coach Norm Stewart led them to the finals of the 1997 Big 12 Tournament at Kemper Arena before losing to Kansas. … Missouri has won two league tournament titles over the last four years (2009 and 2012). … Missouri is 3-1 on neutral courts this season, with wins over Stanford, VCU and Illinois.
• RPI: Missouri 32, Texas A&M 95
• BOTTOM LINE: Missouri’s spot in the NCAA Tournament seems safe. But a loss against a lesser squad would not only cause for some anxious moments, but would eliminate momentum. With Mississippi — a team the Tigers blew out at home a month ago — awaiting in the quarterfinals, the path to the semifinals is manageable. But Missouri must take care of business first.
| Terez A. Paylor, email@example.com