I can find no video evidence of the last time the Texas A&M Aggies played in Allen Fieldhouse. It was a little over six years ago. January 23rd of 2012. the Jayhawks were ranked fifth and headed towards a final four appearance. A&M was unranked and headed towards an overall losing season and a ninth place finish in their final Big XII season. A&M’s best player, current Milwaukee Bucks starter Khris Middleton, missed the game with an injury. Jeff Withey had eight blocks. The Jayhawks won 64-54. Tommy Lasorda was in attendance, apparently.
This is not what this post is about, though. This is about the last time that the Aggies came into the Fieldhouse and won, back in 2007, during only the second year of the Big XII title streak. This is, to date, Texas A&M’s only men’s basketball victory over the Jayhawks. This was Bill Self’s seventh loss in Allen Fieldhouse, and unlike the other home loss that year (a seven point loss to the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles), I was not in attendance for this one.
This was the third of February, 2007. Kansas was ranked sixth, A&M eighth. I was eleven, in the sixth grade, at maybe the apex of my childhood Jayhawk fandom. I wasn’t quite hanging upon every game, but I was close to it.
But I also remember this fondly as a Saturday night, and I had my friend, Maverick, over, and I’d just received a Nintendo Wii for Christmas, and we were neck-deep in WarioWare and ExciteTruck and whatever else Nintendo dropped at that console’s launch. The Wii, if you don’t know, offered the first online game marketplaces, the Wii Shop Channel, which comprised almost entirely of old NES and Super NES games. If you don’t remember that, you remember getting punched in the face by the music.
At that time, it was nigh-impossible for a kid like myself to put my own money into these digital purchases. I either had to get lucky and find a Wii gift card, which I never could, or I had to convince my father to enter a credit card number into the store front-end using the Wii remote and on-screen keyboard, which may actually be the least-intuitive way anyone has ever had to enter a credit card number ever. The Wii remote pointer was inaccurate at best and took some time to get used to.
My Dad watched this game in the upstairs living room, and I had a feeling things had gone south when he groaned in frustration. I assume this was after Acie Law’s go-ahead three pointer, but it could’ve been after Mario Chalmers missed the game-tying buzzer beater, on what appears to be the same play ran at the end of regulation in that year’s Big XII championship game and, of course, the next year’s National Championship game.
We hadn’t been watching. We decided that the moment immediately after the game was the perfect time to ask my dear father for his grace and patience to make good on a prior statement that he would put ten dollars into my Wii Shop account. He grumbled his way downstairs. I opened the Wii Shop, then waited far too long on our 2007 Wi-Fi for the site to load before we were punched with the five familiar snyth hits of the Wii Shop theme. All the while, Dad was standing there, probably silently steaming about the defensive breakdowns that had allowed Acie Law to play hero and hand the Jayhawks their fourth and final Big XII loss of the season.
When the “add funds” screen finally loaded – after about a minute of watching a rotating dot indicating its loading – he muttered “Gimme the frickin’ controller.” I did so. He tried to get in and out of the situation as quickly as possible, but the shaky pointer of the Wii Remote made his task more difficult. We said nothing. My friend mimicked Will Smith’s “cutting the tension” from an episode of Fresh Prince (and it is nuts, when I think back at it, how both of us had spent so much time watching a Nick @ Nite sitcom that we could make references to individual jokes from minor episodes) He thrust the controller back to me and stamped back upstairs.
We probably bought, like, NES Tennis with that Wii Shop money. Very little of value came out on the early virtual console.