As the calendar turns to February, the Crimson Tide finds itself, once again, smack-dab on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament. It’s become a very familiar position for an Alabama program that has been mired in mediocrity for the past ~15 years. In that sense, their foe tonight, Arkansas, knows this situation all too well, as they also find themselves on the bubble in February for the nth season in a row.
This is a major game for both teams, and while Arkansas has been the team dealing with nagging injuries lately, it’s Alabama that finds itself on the wrong end of some late breaking news. It turns out that Herbert Jones had to undergo wrist surgery on the wrist that’s been ailing him all season long, and he’s currently out indefinitely. There’s a very good chance that his season is over. On top of that, Beetle Bolden has been ruled out again tonight as he continues to recover from an unknown stomach illness.
So, Alabama is going to be quite short-handed. Kira Lewis, John Petty, Jaden Shackelford, Jaylen Forbes, Alex Reese, Javian Davis, and Galen Smith are the only remaining scholarship players available for the Tide. Hopefully, they are all ready to step up and play major minutes the rest of the season.
Alabama is a 4-point favorite tonight, though I’m not sure oddsmakers were aware of the Herb Jones news in enough time to adjust this line. The game will tip at 5:00 PM CST and will be televised on the SEC Network.