With the soul-crushing loss to Vanderbilt this week, the Alabama Crimson Tide (16-14, 8-9 SEC, NET: 50, Kenpom: 55) are now officially all but eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. In fact, if the Tide were to lose out, Nate Oats’ squad may just find itself on the bubble for the NIT. Regardless, ‘Bama will close out the 2020 regular season on the road in Columbia, MO for a date with the one set of Tigers in the conference with no postseason hopes: the Missouri Tigers (14-16, 6-11 SEC, NET: 93, Kenpom: 105).
In the previous meeting with Mizzou, Alabama put together one of its most impressive performances of the season. Despite the Tigers shooting a record-breaking 31/31 from the free throw line (because of course they did), the Tide handled Cuonzo Martin’s team 88-74. John Petty was a huge catalyst for the team that day, as he dropped 20 points on 6/12 shooting with 7 boards and a couple of assists. The good news is that it appears that Petty will give it a go today, after missing the past three games with an elbow sprain that aided the Tide’s late-season downfall.
It’s Senior Day for a Tiger team that doesn’t have many. Still, expect Mizzou’s full effort as the Tigers attempt to send big man Reed Nikko out with a victory in his final home game (after what seems like 7 years in Columbia). Alabama’s placement in the SEC Tournament will be determined today, which could have a huge impact on the viability of a run next week in Nashville. Also, this could be one of the last times to catch Petty and Kira Lewis playing in the Crimson and White jerseys of the university we all dearly love.
The season hasn’t played out how we had originally hoped that it would: injuries have derailed a team that, at one point, looked like it was really figuring out how to play in Oats’ system (the previous match-up with Missouri being Exhibit B). But with Petty likely back in the line-up today, Alabama should be a full strength (relatively-speaking) as it plays out whatever is left in the 2020 season.
The game will tip-off at 1:30 PM CST and will be televised on the SEC Network. Missouri is a one-point favorite over the Tide.