The first half pf yesterday’s game vs. 7-seed Ole Miss was as terrible a performance as any ‘Bama has laid down over the last month. But, credit to the Tide, players seemed to finally get off the bus, attack the rim, bring in some rebounds, get to the stripe, and dial up the defensive intensity.
It wasn’t a thing of beauty by any stretch, but at this point in the year, it’s survive and advance. 62-57 — good guys survive; Ole Miss awaits Selection Sunday. With now its 10th win over Quadrant 1 & 2 team (10-12), the Tide pose a really tough call for the Committee. ‘Bama’s NET has plunged to the 60s and they’re by no means entering March as a hot team; but you can’t deny 18-14 record against the nation’s No. 20 SOS either.
Of course, Alabama can render that Selection agonizing moot point today by unseating a team that has eliminated it three years in a row: Kentucky. Seriously, what do we need to do to get on the other side of the bracket just once? Avery Johnson’s SEC Tournament record is 8-0 vs. the rest of the Conference, and 0-3 against the juggernaut. The Tide picked up a rare program win over the ‘Cats in January — just one of five losses the No. 4 Wildcats own — but I think we all know that March Kentucky is a very different critter, especially in SEC Tourney play.
So, to the Final 8 we go today.
- Parker has broken down the Tide’s road in his SEC Tournament Primer.
- And, if you need a refresher on what the Mighty Cats bring to Nashville, check out our ‘Bama Basketball Breakdown.
- Curious as to how the Tide got a win over Calipari’s death machine? Here’s our ecstatic recap for you (and hopefully a roadmap for the Tide this evening)
This is your remaining tournament schedule and your open thread for the day.
Buckle Up and Roll Tide.
Quarterfinals: Friday, March 15 (all times Eastern)
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 9 Florida (1 p.m., ESPN)
No. 4 South Carolina vs. No. 5 Auburn (ESPN)
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 10 Alabama (7 p.m., SEC Network)
No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 6 Mississippi State (SEC Network)
Semifinals: Saturday, March 16
LSU/Florida vs. USCe/Auburn (1 p.m., ESPN)
Kentucky/Alabama vs. Tennessee/MSU (30 minutes thereafter, ESPN)
SEC championship: Sunday, March 17
1:00 P.M. EDT (ESPN)