Alabama Basketball: If SEC Tournament started today …

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

Since opening the SEC basketball season with wins over Tennessee and Florida, Alabama Basketball has been on a downward trend. In the nine games since, the Crimson Tide is 3-6, with losses to lowly Missouri and Georgia. A high note in the three wins was the upset of Baylor in Tuscaloosa. The LSU win is also a Quad 1 win, but the Bengal Tigers have faded since, having lost four of their last five games.

Multiple algorithms, including one published by Warren Nolan, predict the Crimson Tide will lose only two more regular-season games to finish 10-8 in SEC play.

The closing regular-season run of eight games begins Wednesday night in Oxford. Ole Miss is 3-7 in conference play and 12-11 overall. It is a must-win for the Crimson Tide, in terms of future NCAA Tournament seeding.

Despite its rough recent performance, the Crimson Tide is not an NCAA bubble team. Because of its strength of schedule and six Quad 1 wins, Alabama only needs three more wins to make the NCAA Tournament field. At 17-15 (if the opening SEC Tournament game is another Tide loss) the Tide would likely get a 7-10 seed. That assumes no more bad losses, like losing to Ole Miss.

The value of the Tide’s schedule strength and Quad 1 wins is shown in the current NCAA NET ranking of No. 23, after the loss to Kentucky.

Alabama Basketball and the SEC Tournament

The SEC Tournament tie-breaker rules can become a factor in the eventual March seeding. The rules explanation below is a summary of what is provided by the SEC.

  • Two team ties are decided by head-to-head play; then record against the No. 1 seed and proceeding down through the other seeds; then, if necessary, a coin flip.
  • Three (or more) team ties are decided by the best winning percentage of the tied teams’ games against each other; then record against the No. 1 seed and proceeding down through the other seeds; then, if necessary a coin flip between two teams, or if three teams remain tied, a draw by the SEC Commissioner.

Based on the Alabama Basketball, current SEC record of 4-6, the Crimson Tide would be tied with South Carolina, Vanderbilt, LSU and Texas A&M.

Using the tiebreakers, Alabama would become the No. 8 seed in the SEC Tournament. The Tide would open with Vandy on Thursday in Tampa, with the winner getting No. 1 seed Auburn on Friday.

Next. Crimson Tide missed 27 threes in loss to Kentucky. dark

There is a lot of basketball left and a solid NCAA Tournament seed in the 5-7 range is a good guess if Alabama wins five of its next eight games.