Tide looking at 8 or 9 seed heading into conference tourney week

Bama's seeding depends on its ability to rebound this week in New Orleans after a disappointing performance this weekend at Ole Miss.

We're now only six days away from Selection Sunday, and the Tide is looking very likely to land a bid. Here is a quick update from today:

Latest RPI rankings

Latest bracket projections

So it appears as though bracket experts think Bama is still pretty safely in the field, despite the loss at Ole Miss. Now, there is still a lot of basketball to be played over the next six days. Some teams (including Alabama) could play potentially as many as four games during that period, so a lot can change. That said, according to these bracketologists, there are at least a dozen teams between Alabama at the at-large cut-off, which is usually a 12-seed, meaning it would take something pretty drastic for Alabama to get passed by a dozen or more teams.

However, losing to South Carolina, now 191st in the RPI, would be something drastic. If that happens, the Tide will surely plummet in the committee's eyes. Would it be enough to knock Alabama all the way out of the field? Probably not, but it's possible if a bunch of teams behind Alabama have a good week and a few teams not projected as at-large contenders "steal" automatic bids away from teams who are at-large contenders by winning conference tournaments.

If Alabama can get though the Gamecocks, though, it would be pretty impossible--assuming all these experts are correct about the Tide's standing now--for Alabama not to make it in. The question is, what seed? Obviously that depends on the wins Alabama gets in the SEC Tournament in New Orleans this week. I think a pretty safe assumption though is that getting above the 8/9 range would take at minimum beating both South Carolina and Florida. If Alabama has any hopes of avoiding the dreaded 8/9 game, aside from the Tide dropping even lower either due to a loss to South Carolina or simply due to the committee's judgment, the Tide needs to get at least two wins in New Orleans this week.
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