There’s simply no way to overstate the challenge that the Crimson Tide faces today in the SEC tournament semifinals. Most teams are going to struggle against the Wildcats, but ‘Bama in particular seems to be blinkered by the dark forces in Lexington, posting a 37-111 all-time record against BBN.
And no where have the Wildcats tormented the Tide quite as they have done in the SEC Tournament. This is the seventh postseason meeting between the two programs since 2006, with the Tide generally hanging around in single digits. But, last year’s 5-point loss to the No. 8 Wildcats remains the closest that ‘Bama has been able to keep it in that span. The last SEC tournament win over Kentucky? Half of our readers weren’t even born — it was 1983. UK is 15-2 all-time against ‘Bama in this event, and Alabama hasn’t won a postseason meeting since those ‘82 and ‘83 seasons. (Kentucky even threw in a Sweet 16 win over the Tide in 1986...just for good measure.)
In their sole meeting this season, the difference in the game was made by some familiar nemeses: bad shooting (64% FT, 25% 3PT) and terrible effort on the glass. Kentucky had almost as many offensive rebounds (20) and ‘Bama had total boards (22.) For the game, Alabama lost the battle on the boards 45-27.
But, it’s a new season. Kentucky cannot lean on Rupp Rules. And Collin Sexton in particular looks to be on a mission. So, once more in to the fold we go.
Buckle up one more time.