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Aggies add March Madness insult, beating Nebraska 98-83 after hiring Huskers' AD

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Wearing three-piece suits matters to Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams.

Since his Aggies snapped a five-game skid with him wearing a more casual outfit, he's stuck with the same clothes, down to boxers and undershirt.

Wade Taylor IV scored 25 points and No. 9 seed Texas A&M sent eighth-seeded Nebraska home still looking for its first NCAA Tournament victory, beating the Huskers 98-83 on Friday night in the South Region.

“We need to find a cleaners in Memphis because they’re wet after every game, and I’m making everybody wear the same thing over and over, which I’ve never done,” Williams said. “But I’m not saying there’s causation, and that’s why we’re winning. But in case there is, that’s what I’ll wear on Sunday.”

Texas A&M (21-14) will play top-seeded Houston on Sunday with a trip to Dallas awaiting in the Sweet 16.

The Aggies added insult to injury by beating Nebraska after unexpectedly hiring athletic director Trev Alberts away from his alma mater for the same job last week.

Manny Obaseki added 22 points for the Aggies, who put five players in double figures and scored a season high in points. Tyrece Radford finished with 20, making Texas A&M the first SEC team with a trio scoring at least 20 points in this tournament since 2007.

Jace Carter also had 13, and Henry Coleman III scored 10.

“The job is not finished,” Radford said of his message to the Aggies. “Yes, it feels amazing to win. It’s an honor to even be here. But we just can’t get stuck on this win, because we still have a long tournament ahead of us.”

Nebraska (23-11) leaves Memphis still looking for that elusive NCAA victory following the program's best finish in Big Ten play since 1992-93. The Huskers tied for third and then reached the Big Ten semifinals, posting the second-most wins in program history to earn coach Fred Hoiberg an extension.

“We ran into a buzzsaw,” Hoiberg said of the Aggies.

Brice Williams led the Huskers with 24 points. Keisei Tominaga had 21, and Josiah Allick had 14.

The Aggies gave the Southeastern Conference a much-needed win after getting eight teams in, and now the league is 3-5. The Aggies also used their size to dominate Nebraska inside with a 40-28 outrebounding difference while outscoring them 44-38 in the paint.

Texas A&M is 6-1 in March since Williams put Obaseki into the starting lineup.

Obaseki had been averaging 6.3 points per game this season and 15.8 in this stretch as a starter. Obaseki had 19 by halftime, making his first three 3s and posing for a moment after the last one. Taylor scored 17, then went to the bench with two fouls. Obaseki scored the final 16 points of the first half for the Aggies.

“It’s been fun playing alongside Wade,” Obaseki said. “It’s been an honor. I played against him since fourth, fifth grade, just seeing his game and seeing him succeed at a high level makes me happy.”

Together, they broke open what had sounded and looked like a Nebraska home game with a thrilling start featuring nine lead changes and three ties. The Huskers last led 31-30 when the Aggies, who lost the SEC Tournament semifinals in Nashville, took control.

Taylor's fifth 3 put the Aggies ahead to stay at 33-31, and they led 58-44 at halftime after failing to reach 58 points in four games during the season.

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: The Aggies improved to 14-16 all-time in their 16th appearance in the tournament, getting their first win since 2018 and the first since Williams took over in 2019. ... The Aggies have become 3-point specialists after averaging just 6.9 made 3s a game coming into this tournament. They went 13 of 23 (56.5%). ... They also set a team record at this tournament, topping the 92 points scored in a pair of games in 2016.

Nebraska: The Huskers came in 10th nationally in field goal defense, holding opponents to 39.7% shooting. They allowed Texas A&M to shoot 49.3% (35 of 71). ... They weren't much better on offense after finishing the first half missing 12 of their final 13 shots.

UP NEXT

The Aggies may get a rematch with the Big 12 program a mere 100 miles away if Houston takes care of its business. The Cougars beat Texas A&M 70-66 on Dec. 16 in Houston.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness