Alabama Basketball: Tide and Aggies again in SEC Tournament Opener


The Alabama basketball team is facing a virtual must-win game against Texas A&M to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive

When the chaos that was the SEC rankings started to make sense, the Alabama basketball team secured a spot as the No. 9 seed.  The opponent, the Texas A&M Aggies (20-11), picked up the No. 8 seed.

The Tide (17-14) and Aggies have become very familiar with each other this season.  This will be the third matchup between the two teams and second since Saturday.  Each team has won on their home floor, so it’s only fitting that a neutral location settles the score.

For Alabama basketball, this is the most important game of the season.  Riding a five-game losing streak, the Tide has gone from tourney lock to Last Four In.  In that possible matchup, they would face off against the UCLA Bruins.

However, that might be thinking too far ahead. Especially for a Tide team that’s been playing like they would much rather play in the NIT.

In their last game against Texas A&M, Alabama got a game-high 23 points from Collin Sexton.  However, A&M center Tyler Davis was too much for the Tide.  He scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The second meeting between these two also produced some of the most physical moments.  Aggies guard T.J. Starks was ejected after shoving Collin Sexton in the head with 32 seconds remaining.

There was also a play where Tyler Davis received a technical foul for shoving Alex Reese out of the air after the whistle.  Expect this game to be much more physical especially with so much riding on it for both teams.

For Alabama to win this game, they have to find a way to contain Davis and keep the Aggies off the offensive glass.  Texas A&M grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and second-chance points really helped them in an otherwise close game.

Alabama should get a boost on the boards and the defensive end if Herbert Jones is cleared from injury. Jones missed the last game due to a head injury sustained against Florida.

What If the Tide Win…Lose?

If the Tide win, they are scheduled to take on the No. 1 seeded Auburn Tigers in the quarterfinals on Friday.  It would be the third matchup with the Tigers this season, also with both teams winning on their home floor.

A win against the Aggies will also help strengthen Alabama’s resume for the selection committee.

If the Tide lose, they better start praying. The Tide would need help from many top-seeded teams to win their conference tournaments to save some at-large bids.

While it’s unlikely that they would still receive a tournament bid with a loss, stranger things have happened.  However, it would be safe to say that a loss would likely mean a top seed in the NIT.

Next: SEC Basketball: Sexton and Hall win All-SEC honors while Pearl snubbed

Alabama basketball will face Texas A&M again at noon (CST) Thursday in the second round of the SEC Tournament in St. Louis. The Aggies are already assured on a NCAA berth.