31 Days Til Selection Sunday: Bama's Position

The Crimson Tide basketball team still has a lot of work to do, with a tough stretch of games coming up beginning with a road trip to LSU on Saturday night. The Tide isn't a lock for an NCAA Tournament bid, but is in fairly solid shape.

After Bama's blowout win on Tuesday night at Auburn, ESPN's Joe Lunardi ranked Alabama 28th in his "S-Curve" seeding order, the order he would expect teams to be seeded if the season ended yesterday. 28th overall equates to a 7-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and considering that around the top 48 teams receive at-large bids, the Tide actually does have some room for error down the stretch in terms of securing a bid should more setbacks occur. On the more optimistic side, the Tide is also within striking distance of moving up to the 5-6-seed range should Bama close out the regular season on a hot streak.

Latest RPI rankings

Latest bracket projections

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Resume breakdown

  • Bama is 2-5 against projected NCAA Tournament teams, with at least two games remaining against such teams. Purdue and Kansas State have both struggled a bit recently, and are hovering on the good side of the bubble. Hope that they stay on the good side--especially Purdue; those two November wins over Wichita State and Purdue are solid gold so long as both teams stay in the field. Dayton, Ole Miss, and Arkansas are also in stirking distance for a bid, but those teams would need strong finishes to get in. Most importantly, though, is what Bama can control, and that is finding a way to get wins in those two remaining games, both of which are at home, against Florida and Mississippi State.
  • Bama is 1-5 against RPI top 50 teams, with at least two games remaining against such teams. However, two bits of caution here. First, the record is a bit misleading since Purdue, Ole Miss, and Arkansas are just barely outside the top 50 (Bama is 4-5 against the top 68). Second, I'm skeptical of how much a "top 50" RPI record really matters. I think it's more of a convenient thing for media types to point to when comparing teams rather than something the committee really relies on. But to the extent it does matter, hope that teams like Purdue, Ole Miss, and Arkansas finish strong and end up cracking the top 50 at year-end. Again, the Florida and Mississippi State home games will be big here, but so will the Arkansas and Ole Miss road games.
  • Bama is 8-6 against RPI top 100 teams, with at least five games remaining against such teams. Again, not sure how much this matters beyond media talking points, but in the case it does, hope for teams like VCU, Oklahoma State, Georgia, and Maryland to end up on the right side of the 100 spot at year-end.
  • Bama is 8-1 against sub-100 RPI teams, with at least two such games remaining. As Tide fans know all too well, these wins really do nothing for your resume, but losses to these teams can be killer. Alabama's road loss to South Carolina is a stain that can't be removed from the resume, but the Tide can ensure no more such losses appear if Bama can secure home wins over Tennessee and Auburn down the stretch.
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