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#25 Ole Miss 74, Alabama 67: Initial Impressions

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The Crimson Tide basketball team fell 74-67 to the #25 Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday in Oxford. Alabama dropped to 13-10 on the season and 3-6 in SEC play.

Here's all that you need to know: Alabama blew a 23-point second half lead. That's my only initial impression. In the words of our very own Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that."

There's no need to rehash what happened. The only thing that matters after something like this is how we move forward from here. In that regard, we'll continue to update you in the coming days with quotes from Coach Grant and the players as it relates to their mindset at this point. We will also have our usual extensive game preview for the upcoming game against the #4 Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday as well as a possible Q&A piece.

As for where we are now, the NCAA tournament is completely out of the question, and the NIT is starting to look more like an uphill climb. In assessing the team's performance thusfar however, the challenge is to reconcile our accumulation of losses with the fact that we are good enough to earn leads--often big leads--against quality opponents late in games. I for one am struggling to reconcile the two.

In Alabama's six SEC losses, we have led at the half every single time. Five of those six losses came against teams with winning records in SEC play. Three of those six losses came against teams that are currently ranked.

I'll leave you with a rundown of all six of our conference losses, and you can decide for yourself where you think we stand.

  • On January 13th Alabama lost at home to #18 Vanderbilt. Alabama led by 7 at the half. Alabama led by as many as 10 in the second half. Alabama had the lead in the final ten seconds of the game.
  • On January 16th Alabama lost on the road to Arkansas. Alabama led by as many as 6 points. Alabama led by 2 at the half.
  • On January 19th Alabama lost at home to #14 Tennessee. Alabama led by as many as 6 points. Alabama led by 1 at the half. Alabama was within one possession in the final two minutes.
  • On January 30th Alabama lost on the road to Auburn. Alabama led by 3 at the half. Alabama led by as many as 7 in the second half. Alabama had the lead in the final 20 seconds of the game.
  • On February 4th Alabama lost at home to Florida. Alabama led by as many as 8 points. Alabama led by 4 at the half. Alabama had the lead in the final 20 seconds of the game.
  • On February 6th Alabama lost on the road to #25 Ole Miss. Alabama led by 20 at the half. Alabama led by as many as 23 points in the second half.