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#18 Alabama vs Mississippi State Game Thread

#18 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-3, 7-0 SEC) vs Mississippi States Bulldogs (9-6, 4-3 SEC)

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC-leading, 18th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide return home tonight for a match-up with neighboring rival Mississippi State. With two games left before the midway point of the conference slate, college basketball’s hottest team will try to keep the momentum rolling and remain undefeated in SEC play against Ben Howland’s Bulldogs.

Despite opening as 14-point favorites (it’s since fallen to -9.5 for Alabama), this game may not be as simple as it seems going up against this physical State team, as Alabama remains without its lone true post player, Jordan Bruner. Javian Davis and company will certainly look to slow things down and enforce their will in the paint. The Tide will need big minutes from Alex Reese and James Rojas.

Bama will likely stick with their current rotation, starting with Reese, Herbert Jones, Jaden Shackelford, Josh Primo, and the scorching-hot John Petty. Jahvon Quinerly will continue to operate as the sixth man, while Keon Ellis, James Rojas, and Juwan Gary round out the rotation for Nate Oats. Mississippi State will counter with Iverson Molinar, D.J. Stewart, Jalen Johnson, Tolu Smith, and Abdul Ado.

Can the Tide stay hot and keep it rolling? Will they be able to tune out all of the hype they have generated recently?

The game will tip at 5:00 PM CST and will be televised on the SEC Network.