Alabama Basketball: Feb. 9 – NCAA ‘Bracket Watch’ and SEC stretch run


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

Alabama basketball followed up another big win with a disappointing loss to Mississippi State. The loss repeated a pattern this season of being focused against top competition and lacking focus otherwise. Mississippi State is not a bad team. Now with 18 wins, the Bulldogs are nearing ‘Bubble’ consideration.

The Tide has work left to be solidly in the NCAA field. A win Saturday against Tennessee would be a huge boost. The Vols are a sure NCAA team so even a loss will not destroy the Tide’s tourney chances.

Alabama basketball has seven 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 seven SEC games, the Tide has six games against currently projected NCAA teams. A 4-3 run and 1-1 in the SEC tournament would assure an NCAA bid.. Even 3-4 and 1-1 might be enough to sneak in at a No. 11 or No. 12 seed. Going 2-5 would require at least two SEC tournament wins.

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. 3 Seed – Auburn
  • No. 3 Seed – Tennessee
  • No. 5 Seed – Kentucky
  • No. 7 Seed – Florida
  • No. 8 Seed – Missouri
  • No. 9 Seed – Alabama
  • No. 9 Seed – Texas A&M
  • No. 10 Seed – Arkansas

Jerry Palm moved the Tide down to a 10 seed after the Mississippi State loss. Palm has eight SEC teams in the NCAA field and one SEC Bubble team.

  • No. 2 Seed – Auburn
  • No. 3 Seed – Tennessee
  • No. 6 Seed – Kentucky
  • No. 8 Seed – Texas A&M
  • No. 9 Seed – Missouri
  • No. 10 Seed – Florida
  • No. 10 Seed – Alabama
  • No. 11 Seed – Arkansas
  • First Four Out – Mississippi State still has the Tide a No. 9 seed. After the Mississippi State loss, the projected probability for the Tide making the NCAA Tournament field decreased from 80 percent to 71 percent.

Finishing the regular season

Alabama basketball has a tough closing run in SEC regular season play. Take a closer look at the seven games and the current RPI for each team from

Feb. 10th – Tennessee in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 10
Feb. 13th – LSU in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 81
Feb. 17th – Kentucky in Lexington; RPI – 17
Feb. 21st – Auburn in Auburn; RPI – 9
Feb. 24th – Arkansas in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 36
Feb. 27th – Florida in Tuscaloosa; RPI – 48
Mar. 3rd – Texas A&M in College Station; RPI – 20

The current RPI for Alabama basketball is 42.

Next: The Tide looks to slow down the Vols in T-Town

Alabama basketball has plenty of opportunities for resume building wins down the stretch. It also has plenty of challenge. Bama Hammer will follow every development as the Tide fights to return to the NCAA Tournament.