The 2020 season is at a bit of a crossroads for the Crimson Tide tonight, as the Tennessee Volunteers come to Tuscaloosa. As of right now, Alabama is right on the cut-line of the NCAA Tournament, according to most bracketologists. The momentum that the Tide built in most of December an January came to a screeching halt last week with consecutive losses to LSU and Arkansas. Now. those are both NCAA Tournament teams, and certainly aren’t the kind that are going to cost Alabama come March; however, those losses were also paired with a significant wrist injury to Herbert Jones.
Now, the Tide have to finish up this brutal stretch of six tough games (at Georgia, at Auburn, LSU) without arguably their most important player. On top of that, with Beetle Bolden constantly in and out of the line-up, the Tide could have as few as seven scholarship players available. Not ideal for a flawed team that like to push the pace.
With all of that in mind, this game is critical tonight. Tennessee has a capable squad, but one that is likely headed to the NIT this Spring. The Tide is a 6-point favorite at home, and it was just announced that five-star freshman Josiah Jordan James, who is basically Tennessee’s version of Herb, will not play tonight either. Alabama simply can’t afford to lose this game, or its season could start to unravel.
The game will tip-off at 6:00 PM CST and will be televised on ESPNU.