Saturday afternoon, the Alabama Crimson Tide fell to the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge in a 3 OT heartbreaker 97-94. It snapped a four-game winning streak against the Tigers and, more importantly, makes Alabama’s road to the making the field of 68 a little more unstable.
So, is there a chance for Alabama to still get the at-large bid? It’s a tough road, but yes, it’s still possible.
First, let’s take a look at the resume of Alabama:
- Record: 18-9 (10-4 SEC)
- RPI: 62 (according to CBSSports.com)
- Key Wins: Villinova, Tennessee, Kentucky
- Bad Losses: Auburn, Tulane, Mercer
When we last looked at Alabama’s opponents and their RPI, many were in the upper 100s and 200s in the rankings. The good news is this: If there was an opponent that Alabama really had to lose to, it was LSU. They had the highest RPI out of any opponent in February with 104. Is this a loss that Alabama needed? Of course not. But it’s not the end of the road for them.
In order to make it into the NCAA Tournament, first of all, they must win out the rest of the season. Period. Another loss and their chances of making it are extremely slim (as if they are already). Yes, this means they must beat Florida and Ole Miss on the road and follow it up with a closer against Georgia in March. This seems like an impossible task to a Crimson Tide team that’s been very lackluster, but Anthony Grant and Alabama have surprised us before this season.
They also have to make a run in the SEC Tournement in Nashville. Anything less than making the championship game means a zero percent chance for an at-large bid in the NCAA. Really, this goes for most of the teams in the conference besides Florida. I think a run in the conference’s postseason tourney could be enough to lift the Tide to a possible bid. Obviously, winning it is the only scenario where Alabama is guaranteed a spot.
Even if all this happens, the chances are becoming very few for Alabama to make it to the big dance. What if they don’t make it and lose a key game? Well, their best scenario is maybe a two-seed in the NIT. That’s if they lose only one game in the next four they have. It could be worse if any other scenario occurs. The Crimson Tide are on glass right now and their postseason hopes are in danger of being broken.
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