Tech-A&M hoops rivalry full of memorable moments

The emotions surrounding the Tech Texas-Texas A&M hardwood rivalry may not be as heated as those attached to its gridiron counterpart, but the series has contained its fair share of intense moments nonetheless.

Here is a look at a few of the more notable games between the two programs leading up the final Big 12 regular-season game between the two teams, which tips off at 6 p.m. today at United Spirit Arena.

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Feb. 5, 1994 in Lubbock: A&M 89, Tech 88. Perhaps one of the best overall games the rivalry has ever seen will long be remembered for the bizarre way it ended.

Tech thought it had the game won when Mark Davis, at the line following a questionable foul call on A&M forward Joe Wilbert, nailed a pair of free throws to put Tech up by a point with only two seconds remaining. But when the Aggies threw an inbounds pass the length of the court, Tech’s Lance Hughes was called for going over the back of A&M’s Chuck Henderson, who calmly knocked down the free throws to give the Aggies the victory.

Tech coach James Dickey didn’t hide his feelings about the officiating after the game.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory who embarrassed themselves today,” Dickey said, referring to the officials. “I need some time to cool off. I will say that I think players should decide games.”

The controversial ending led to some ugly postgame moments. Tech fans blocked the path of several players and coaches attempting to head to the locker room. Obscenties were shouted and and punches were thrown. A Texas Tech graduate student later filed a complaint against Wilbert, claiming Wilbert had knocked him out when he punched the student in the head.

Tech was admonished by the Southwest Conference for lack of crowd control. Dickey was disciplined for comments about the officiating, as was Texas A&M coach Tony Barone for engaging with fans after the game.

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Jan. 5, 2000: A&M 88, Tech 86 in Lubbock. A&M coach Melvin Watkins couldn't get out of town quick enough.

With the game tied at 86 and the clock winding down, A&M's Bernard King fired a desperation heave that fell short of the rim. Walk-on Aggie guard John Leatherman grabbed the ball and put it in before the buzzer sounded.

Or did he?

Watkins didn't stick around to find out. He hurried his team to the bus – so quickly that the team's radio announcers were left at the arena – and headed out of town, while Dickey, athletic director Gerald Myers about 5,000 fans watched an in-arena replay monitor show that Leatherman's shot came just after the buzzer.

After nearly 30 minutes of deliberation, with Watkins and the Aggies long gone, the officials told Dickey and Myers that replay could not be used to overturn the call.

For his part, Watkins said he was told by one of the referees that the shot had been ruled good, and he wasn't going to wait around to hear that ruling be disputed.

"The one referee (Charles Range) told me the basket was good, but you're always concerned when there's that much discussion,” Watkins told reporters on a conference call from the team bus. “But really, at that point, what else do we have to stay around for?"

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Feb. 13, 2007 in College Station: Tech 77, A&M 75. Jay Jackson helped Tech snap a five-game losing streak with a buzzer-beating jumper over a sixth-ranked A&M team coached by Billy Gillispie.

The dramatic win gave Tech a season sweep of the Aggies.

Jackson scored 31 points in the game, the third time in the season he had reached that total, and earned praise after the game from Tech coach Bob Knight for his execution of a fundamental play in the clutch.

"The thing that pleased me most, because we have been after Jackson because of his failure to use the shot fake a lot," Knight said, “he came down and had the presence of mind enough to know how much time was left, he made a shot fake and that cleared his shot and then he hit it."

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While it may not carry the same clout as Duke-North Carolina or Kentucky-Louisville, the Red Raiders and Aggies have had a fierce rivalry, evidenced by a narrow 64-61 edge Tech has over the first 125 games in the series. A&M has won five straight over Tech, its longest winning streak of the series.

Can the Red Raiders break that streak in what could be the final chapter of this long-standing rivalry?

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short memory

Nick, you totally left out the 1st tournament championship won by Tech over a&m at Moody Colliseum in Dallas. Mike Russell ,top of the key, buzzer beater. Swoosh! good bye a&m!

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