Alabama Basketball: Tide Bubble Watch and SEC Power Ranking Feb. 9

Alabama basketball sits outside the NCAA ‘Bubble.’ Check out the Tide’s and all the SEC team’s NCAA chances, plus the latest SEC Power Rankings.

After a three-game losing streak, Alabama basketball hopes for an NCAA at-large bid dimmed. Some Tide fans have already written off any possibility. The Tide still has chances beyond winning the SEC Tournament. Look no further than the NCAA Net Ranking to understand why.

After the games of Feb. 8, the Alabama basketball NCAA NET Ranking was No. 42. That is only one spot below Mississippi State who are looking very much like an NCAA at-large team. The Tide’s still-alive, NCAA chances are bolstered by a No. 21 Strength of Schedule, as provided by Warren Nolan.

Though the Georgia Bulldogs have lost 11 games, Saturday night’s Tide win was important. The Bulldogs have a No. 91 NET Ranking. The win gives the Crimson Tide its first Quad 2 road win. Now at 13-10, the remaining eight regular-season games are all about wins and losses. To stay (or get) in the Bubble zone, the Tide must win every game it is supposed to win. That means Alabama basketball victories over Texas A&M, Ole Miss (on the road), South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Missouri (on the road).

Win those five, plus one or two SEC Tournament games and the Tide might get an at-large bid. Add to those six or seven wins, one win over either Auburn, LSU or Mississippi State and the Tide makes the NCAA Tournament. Lose any of the five games listed above and the Tide must win over Auburn, LSU or State.

Two more things to consider. With nine or more games left, all the variables cannot be known. The NCAA path may not be as simple as explained above. AND, the ceiling for maximum losses and an NCAA bid is 14. Yes, Alabama basketball made the 2018 NCAA Tournament with 15 losses. The conference was far stronger in 2018 than it is in 2020.

The only other team to receive an NCAA at-large bid with 15 losses was Vanderbilt in 2017. Only 13 times in 35 seasons have teams with 14 losses gained an at-large bid.

Check out the NCAA chances of all the SEC teams. The latest (through games of Feb. 8)  NCAA NET and Ken Pomeroy rankings are included.

NCAA Tournament SEC Near-Locks

Auburn – No. 15 (NCAA Net); No. 31 (kenpom)

Kentucky – No. 21 (NCAA Net); No. 30 (kenpom)

LSU – No. 27 (NCAA Net); No. 34 (kenpom)

NCAA Tournament SEC Bubble Teams

Arkansas – No. 38 (NCAA Net); No. 35 (kenpom)

Mississippi State – No. 41 (NCAA Net); No. 39 (kenpom)

NCAA Tournament SEC Work-to-do Teams

Florida – No. 47 (NCAA Net); No. 48 (kenpom)

Alabama Crimson Tide – No. 42 (NCAA Net); No. 49 (kenpom)

Tennessee – No. 67 (NCAA Net); No. 68 (kenpom)

South Carolina – No. 76 (NCAA Net); No. 86 (kenpom)

NCAA Tournament – Other SEC Teams

Georgia – No. 91 (NCAA Net); No. 96 (kenpom)

Ole Miss – No. 92 (NCAA Net); No. 101 (kenpom)

Missouri – No. 95 (NCAA); No. 118 (kenpom)

Texas A&M – No. 135 (NCAA Net); No. 164 (kenpom)

Vanderbilt – No. 149 (NCAA Net); No. 173 (kenpom)

Our weekly Bama Hammer  SEC Power Ranking is offered below. It is simply a subjective listing of the best SEC teams from top to bottom. Actual win-loss records are a guide but do not determine each week’s rankings. SEC wins and losses are included only as a reference to future SEC Tournament seeding.

SEC Power Rankings – Feb. 9

  1. Auburn; 21-2; 8-2
  2.  Kentucky; 18-5; 8-2
  3. LSU; 17-6; 8-2
  4. Mississippi State; 15-8; 6-4
  5. Arkansas; 16-7; 4-6
  6. Florida; 14-9; 6-4
  7. South Carolina; 14-9; 6-4
  8. Alabama; 13-10; 5-5
  9. Tennessee; 13-10; 5-5
  10. Georgia; 12-11; 2-8
  11. Ole Miss; 12-11; 3-7
  12. Missouri; 11-12; 3-7
  13. Texas A&M; 11-11; 5-5
  14. Vanderbilt; 9-14; 1-9
Next: Saban still mulling coaching moves

More detailed SEC basketball standings can be found here. How big is the Crimson Tide’s Wednesday night game in Auburn? Sweeping the Tigers would move the Crimson Tide near the top of the NCAA Bubble.

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