Alabama Basketball: Feb. 5 – NCAA ‘Bracket Watch’ and SEC stretch run

TUSCALOOSA, AL - JANUARY 27: Herbert Jones
TUSCALOOSA, AL - JANUARY 27: Herbert Jones /

Check out where Alabama basketball stands in projected NCAA Brackets, plus the challenge of six more regular season games against potential NCAA tourney teams.

The Florida win was big for Alabama basketball. Not only was it another win against a ranked team, it was accomplished on the road. Alabama basketball fans now have considerable optimism about an NCAA Tournament bid. Pumping the brakes a bit would be wise. The Tide has work left to be solidly in the NCAA field. A win Tuesday night in Starkville would be another big boost.

Alabama basketball has eight remaining regular season games, plus SEC tournament games. The NCAA Selection committee chooses teams based on several key factors. One significant factor is a team’s most recent games.

In the remaining eight SEC games, the Tide has six games against currently projected NCAA teams. A 4-4 run and 1-1 in the SEC tournament should be enough. Even 3-5 and 1-1 might be enough to sneak in at a No. 11 or No. 12 seed. Anything less and the Tide may again miss out on the NCAA tourney.

A closer look at current bracket projections

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi held the Tide as a No. 9 seed. Lunardi has eight SEC teams in the NCAA field and no current SEC schools as Bubble teams.

  • No. 2 Seed – Auburn
  • No. 4 Seed – Tennessee
  • No. 5 Seed – Kentucky
  • No. 8 Seed – Florida
  • No. 9 Seed – Alabama
  • No. 9 Seed – Texas A&M
  • No. 10 Seed – Arkansas
  • No. 10 Seed – Missouri

Jerry Palm moved the Tide back up to a nine seed after the Florida win. Palm has eight SEC teams in the NCAA field and no SEC Bubble teams.

  • No. 2 Seed – Auburn
  • No. 3 Seed – Tennessee
  • No. 5 Seed – Kentucky
  • No. 8 Seed – Missouri
  • No. 9 Seed – Alabama
  • No. 10 Seed – Florida
  • No. 10 Seed – Texas A&M
  • No. 11 Seed – Arkansas also moved the Tide to a No. 9 seed. Following the Florida win, the projected probability for the Tide making the NCAA Tournament field increased from 63 percent to 80 percent.

Finishing 4-4 in the regular season

Alabama basketball has a tough closing run in SEC regular season play. Gaining four wins will be difficult. Take a closer look at the eight games and the current RPI for each team from

Feb. 6th – Mississippi St. in Starkville; RPI – 57
Feb. 10th – Tennessee in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 13
Feb. 13th – LSU in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 75
Feb. 17th – Kentucky in Lexington; RPI – 16
Feb. 21st – Auburn in Auburn; RPI – 5
Feb. 24th – Arkansas in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 41
Feb. 27th – Florida in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 49
Mar. 3rd – Texas A&M in College Station; RPI – 30

The current RPI for Alabama basketball is 39.

Next: Tide fans hoping basketball roller-coaster ride over

Guarded optimism describes our Alabama basketball expectations. Hopefully, whatever awakening transpired during halftime in Gainesville, will minimize future struggles.