Alabama Basketball: Time to start tracking NCAA Tournament seeding

Alabama Vs Baylor Ncaa Men S Basketball
Alabama Vs Baylor Ncaa Men S Basketball /

After another victory over a top team, Alabama basketball fans can begin tracking the Tide’s future NCAA Tournament seeding. Yes, there are 10 games left in the regular season, including two huge ones this week. After that will be the Crimson Tide’s effort to repeat as the SEC Tournament Champion. Nothing can go bad enough, in that still long run of games, to deny the Crimson Tide an NCAA Tournament bid.

In recent weeks (before the win over Baylor), Bracketologists have projected the Tide as high as a 5-seed and as low as a 7-seed. Now at 14-7, with six Quad 1 wins, a reasonable range of seed possibilities is No.3 on the high side to a No. 8 on the low side, if future losses were to outnumber future wins. But an NCAA Tournament bid is already baked in for two reasons. One is schedule strength. The Tide has the toughest schedule in college basketball. The other is in the six Quad 1 wins are victories over Gonzaga, Houston and Baylor.

Through games of January 29, the Zags are No. 1, followed by Houston at No. 2 and Baylor at No. 4 in the NCAA NET rankings. Alabama has three more resume-enhancing victories, from wins over No. 12, Tennessee; No. 13 LSU and No. 40, Florida.

Unlike the rankings process for college football, the NCAA NET is structured to give teams credit for ‘good losses.’ The difference can be seen in the ranking of Murray State. At 20-2, the Racers are No. 28 in the NET. Six teams are correctly ranked above them, despite having five or more losses.

Alabama Basketball: How important is seeding?

An analysis was done of NCAA Tournament results from 1985-2019.

#3 Seed vs #14 Seed – 119-21 – 85.00% Winning Percentage #3 Seed

#4 Seed vs #13 Seed – 111-28 – 79.29% Winning Percentage #4 Seed

#5 Seed vs #12 Seed – 90-47 – 64.29% Winning Percentage #5 Seed

#6 Seed vs #11 Seed – 88-51 – 62.86% Winning Percentage #6 Seed

#7 Seed vs #10 Seed – 85-52 – 60.71% Winning Percentage #7 Seed

#8 Seed vs #9 Seed – 69-71 – 49.28% Winning Percentage #8 Seed

The degree of success was comparable in the 5-7 seeds. But the jump from a No. 8 seed to the next three highest seeds was dramatic. So was the jump from a No. 4 seed to a No. 3 seed.

Crimson Tide fans can be relieved this is not an NCAA ‘bubble’ season for Alabama. Nate Oats has taken the program to a point where that is no longer an issue. Now, like the traditional top college basketball programs, for the Tide, it is all about seeding.

What’s next for the Crimson Tide?

Auburn will be tough to beat, in Auburn. The Tigers are ranked so high a Tide loss will do almost nothing to damage its resume. The same is pretty much true for the Kentucky game. Plus, under Nate Oats, the Crimson Tide has been impressive in Coleman. Beating the Cats is certainly doable for the team that took down Baylor.

Next. Alabama Crimson Tide NCAA Tournament History. dark

Thanks to Warren Nolan for this data – only two teams have more Quad 1 wins than Alabama. Baylor and Wisconsin have seven.