Alabama Basketball: Revisiting Crimson Tide NCAA Tournament chances

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama basketball is trying to scratch and claw its way back into NCAA Tournament contention. Check out the Tide’s current chances.

There is a risk for Alabama basketball fans reading this post. Hopes for a Crimson Tide at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament have so often been crushed. For Tide fans brave enough to make themselves vulnerable to another disappointing result, let’s consider the current status.

First, some housekeeping is needed. Bama Hammer has been publishing a weekly SEC Power Ranking. Included have been details of the NCAA chances for the Crimson Tide and other SEC teams. This post replaces that prior format. Our focus will be solely on Alabama basketball and the NCAA Tournament. Other schools will be included only to the extent they may impact the Tide’s chances.

Just under three weeks to Selection Sunday, there is little Crimson Tide enthusiasm among national bracketologists. Neither Jerry Palm or Joe Lunardi give the Tide much of a chance. While there may eventually be five SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament field, Palm and Lunardi currently project only four. Those four are Kentucky, Auburn, LSU and Florida.

Lunardi has Mississippi State in his first four out, as does Palm. Palm does not publish a ‘next four out’ like Lunardi, who includes the Alabama Crimson Tide and South Carolina in that lagging group. For the record, there are at least two dozen, lesser-known Bracketologists as proficient in their projections as Palm and Lunardi. Look hard enough and Alabama basketball can be seen rated more highly.

Using the Lunardi list as a guide, Alabama basketball has two remaining regular-season games against possible NCAA teams. If the Tide beats Mississippi State and South Carolina and does not trip up against Vanderbilt and Missouri, it should make the Big Dance. Having already beaten the Tide, Arkansas and Tennessee, remain a threat to steal a fifth SEC bid.

Let’s review some scenarios.

Alabama Basketball Makes NCAA Tournament

  • End the regular season on 5-game win streak (19-12) and add one SEC Tournament win – Record of 20-13.
  • End the regular season at 18-13 with a win over Mississippi State (the only acceptable loss would be to South Carolina), plus one SEC Tournament win – Record of 19-14.

Alabama Basketball Might Make NCAA Tournament

  • End the regular season at 18-13 after losing to Mississippi State, but beating South Carolina, plus two SEC Tournament wins – Record 20-14.

Is there a scenario where losing to both Mississippi State and South Carolina still leads to an NCAA bid? The answer is probably not, but if so, three SEC Tournament wins would be needed.

For Crimson Tide fans looking for a more optimistic perspective, an NCAA NET Ranking of No. 40 provides some solace. Also, projects the Tide will finish the regular season at 18-13, with a 73.9 percent chance of an at-large bid.

Next. A deep dive into 2020 CFB Top 25. dark

In addition to what happens inside the SEC, the Tide needs some slippage by teams from other conferences. There is a long list of those teams including Xavier, Oklahoma, Georgetown, North Carolina State, USC, Wichita State and Providence.