Texas A&M felt it had earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The selection committee disagreed.

The Aggies then made a memorable run to the NIT final, which ended with a one-point loss to Xavier.

Texas A&M starts a new bid to make the Big Dance on Monday night when it opens the 2022-23 season against Louisiana Monroe at College Station, Texas.

The Aggies open the season on the cusp of cracking the AP Top 25 as the highest among others receiving votes. They last made the NCAA field in 2018 when they advanced to the Sweet 16, and will be without last year’s leading scorer Quenton Jackson, who declared for the NBA Draft.

Returning forward Henry Coleman III, a preseason All-SEC second-team selection (11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game) and guard Tyrece Radford (10.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg) look to fill the void left by Jackson and Hassan Diarra, who transferred to UConn.

Texas A&M brought in Dexter Dennis (Wichita State), Khalen Robinson (Arkansas), Julius Marble (Michigan State) and Andersson Garcia (Mississippi State) through the transfer portal.

“We would like to do something that we haven’t done since we’ve been here,” Aggies coach Buzz Williams said on his weekly radio show recently.

Louisiana Monroe is hoping its future looks more positive than it has in recent years.

The Warhawks finished last season 13-18 and lost their last six games to finish second-to-last in the Sun Belt Conference. Louisiana Monroe hasn’t finished a season with a winning record since it went 18-15 in 2018-19.

Warhawks coach Keith Richard spent the offseason replenishing his roster after multiple key departures.

Top scorer Andre Jones (15.6 ppg) graduated and Russell Harrison (13.1 ppg) transferred to Oklahoma State. ULM added 6-10 center Victor Bafutto (Mercer), guards Devon Hancock (Milwaukee) and Jamari Blackmon (North Alabama) and forwards AD Diedhiou (UAB) and Savion Gallion (South Plains College) through the transfer portal.

“I’m really excited about the recruiting class that we’re putting together, especially in terms of adding more scoring options to the playing rotation,” Richard said in a press release this offseason.

–Field Level Media