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Bama Basketball: Bracketology Update (1/21)

For those of you that missed my previous posts on this subject, I've created a tournament resume to chart the progress of the Crimson Tide basketball team.  As you can see, it's pretty simple to figure out, but I'll clarify a few things that might be confusing. Obviously, teams we have beaten go in the left column (in order of strength), teams we have lost to go in the right column (in order of weakness), and teams we have yet to play remain in the center column (in order of play). As for the rankings, I'm using two different systems. The first is based off ESPN's latest bracketology, and the teams that they have projected to be in the Dance (as at-large teams) are highlighted in bold with their projected seed (note: not their overall ranking) indicated in parentheses. I do this because it shows how we have fared against teams that the selection committee will likely see as the strongest. The selection committee doesn't care about the AP or the coaches poll, so they are completely irrelevant in college basketball. The second is simply the latest RPI ranking, which I have used to give us an idea of where the teams not projected in the tournament stand. As you may already know, the RPI is the only ranking system used by the selection committee. 

Wins: 11
Upcoming: 12 Losses: 7
(7) Baylor (Neutral) (7) Mississippi State (Home) #181 Arkansas (Away)
#86 Providence (Home) #203 LSU (Home) (11) Cornell (Home)
#122 Michigan (Neutral) #146 Auburn (Away) (10) Florida State (Neutral)
#152 Mercer (Home) #75 Florida (Home) (6) Vanderbilt (Home)
#186 North Florida (Home) (7) Ole Miss (Away) (4) Purdue (Home)
#203 LSU (Away) (1) Kentucky (Away) (3) Tennessee (Home)
#259 Louisiana-Monroe (Home) #181 Arkansas (Home) (3) Kansas State (Neutral)
#275 Samford (Home) #93 Georgia (Away)
#278 Tennessee State (Home) (7) Mississippi State (Away)
#287 Jackson State (Home) (7) Ole Miss (Home)
#321 Toledo (Away) #84 South Carolina (Away)
#146 Auburn (Home)


Obviously, our current 3-game losing streak has put us in a bad position in regards to qualifying for the NCAA tournament, but there's still a lot of basketball left to be played. That said, it's now or never if we are even going to keep things interesting come February. Despite said 3-game losing streak, it really won't take all that much to get us back on track *if* we can finally get a win against a ranked team at home on Saturday when #23 Mississippi State comes to town. Win that, and suddenly things open back up with three consecutive non-tournament teams coming up on the schedule, although no games will be easy in the SEC, as Arkansas proved last week.

I won't go into much more detail in this post because none of it will matter if we don't start winning and winning now, as far as our tournament hopes for this year are concerned. In the meantime, I would encourage Tide fans not to give up on this team just yet. One quick look at the loss column shows that our losses, while frustrating, have almost all been to tournament-level teams. What's more, we led in the second half in 4 of our 7 losses and were within one possession in the second half of 2 of the other 3 losses. So while we aren't yet close to where we need to be in terms of win/loss record, we have been very close in every loss except one (Kansas State). This means we have what it takes to be competitive and win games in the SEC if we can just catch a few breaks, so stay tuned and find out if we can start making some noise this season while Coach Grant's version of "the Process" gets underway.