On Wednesday night, Texas and Texas A&M will renew a basketball rivalry that dates all the way back to 1917. While the Aggies and Longhorns played four times that first year, they haven’t been playing much lately since the Aggies took off for the Southeastern Conference.
The game Wednesday is only an exhibition, organized to raise money and support for the Rebuilt Texas Relief Fund. Before the Longhorns and Aggies tip off, though, we thought it would be a good time to relive some of the best moments in the rivalry’s history.
Texas and Texas A&M certainly weren’t going to schedule each other after the nasty breakup in 2012. Luckily, college basketball early-season tournaments provide low-stakes nonconference matchups far away from home. So the first Big 12-SEC meeting between the Longhorns and Aggies happened in the Bahamas.
A&M got the upper hand in the opening round of Battle 4 Atlantis, winning 84-73. Texas freshman Eric Davis Jr. scored 19 points.
Not the most glamorous game in series history, and not one Texas fans will remember fondly. But Acie Law IV’s buzzer-beater provided a bit of a precursor to another game on this list, and it gave Aggies fans reason to storm the court after beating No. 7-ranked Texas. The Longhorns wound up splitting the Big 12 regular-season title with Kansas and making the Elite Eight.
Texas had already secured bragging rights into the foreseeable future with Justin Tucker’s field goal on the gridiron, but A&M could exact some semblance of revenge with the last laugh in basketball.
J’Covan Brown squashed that idea, scoring the go-ahead layup in the final minute of a 70-68 victory in College Station. Brown and Sheldon McClellan combined for 35 points, and the Longhorns sent the Aggies to the SEC with five-straight losses to their biggest rival.
Texas started the 2009-10 season with 16 straight victories and entered a January home clash against the Aggies ranked No. 1. A&M, which had never beaten a top-ranked team, put a scare into Rick Barnes’ team before the Longhorns escaped with a 72-67 win.
Ah, yes. You knew we would get here. Texas and Texas A&M both had some of their best basketball teams in the mid-2000s, and no players were better for each program than Kevin Durant and Acie Law IV. On Feb. 28, 2007 they put on a show. Durant scored 30 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, while Law dropped 33 points including a leaning 3-pointer in Durant’s face that sent the game into overtime.
In the end, Texas did enough to deny the Aggies what would have been their first-ever Big 12 regular-season championship, winning 98-96 in double overtime.