Alabama Basketball: Crimson Tide fails to deliver in February again

(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /

Alabama basketball failed to do the necessary Wednesday night, meaning winning the games a team is supposed to win. The result was a bad loss to TAMU.

On Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama basketball chunked and cluttered its way to a loss. And not just any home loss. A home loss to a team ranked No. 134 in the NCAA NET.

Officially it was a Quadrant Three loss, the kind a ‘Bubble-seeking’ team cannot incur. Based on the NCAA NET, it was the second-worst loss of the season for the Crimson Tide. The home opener, one-point defeat to Penn is the Tide’s worst loss of the season. If or when Alabama basketball fails to gain an NCAA at-large bid, the now, bookend losses will have been crucial.

What went wrong for the Crimson Tide on Wednesday? Some old problems re-surfaced. Nineteen turnovers, including 11 in the second-half was a reason. So were the eight boards, rebound deficit. It didn’t help that John Petty Jr. shot 4-for-13.

There was also a 17-point advantage for the Aggies at the foul line. Buzz Williams wants his teams to shoot threes and work the ball inside. The Aggies had 48 field goal attempts. Only half of them were outside the arc. Alabama basketball had 59 field goal attempts and 44 of them were deep balls. The Aggies also outshot the Tide on threes, 46 percent to 36 percent.

Alabama basketball led by six points with 4:16 left in the game. The Aggies outscored the Tide 18-6 in the last four minutes. In that stretch the Tide had one turnover, five missed threes and three missed free throws.

It was the ‘Perfect Storm’ for the Tide. On the season, TAMU was shooting 26 percent outside the arc. Add a rare bounty of three-point shooting to Buzz Williams’ patient offense and tenacious defense and the Aggies became formidable. Did the Crimson Tide take the game too lightly?

Speaking about the Aggies success with threes, Nate Oats said,

"They obviously had a better night, and some of it is we just didn’t play hard enough."

Nate Oats did not lay all the fault on his team.

"They slowed us way down. … That’s on me."

Oats did not offer many answers. That could be because there are no easy ones. Cecil Hurt who has seen every Tide basketball game for a long while offered an accurate summation.

"Alabama is now 6-11 in February/March SEC Home games since 2017. Nothing changes until that changes."

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The Crimson Tide now needs a Mississippi road double in its next two games. A split in those games, plus finishing with three regular-season wins is the minimum for an NCAA chance.