Alabama Basketball got a much-needed SEC win Wednesday night in Oxford. It was the Crimson Tide’s first road win since it beat Florida in Gainesville on Jan. 5. Only five of the Tide’s 15 wins this season have come outside Tuscaloosa.
Multiple algorithms, including one published by Warren Nolan, predict the Crimson Tide will finish the regular season in a strong fashion with five wins against two more losses. That would put Nate Oats’ team at 10-8 in SEC play.
Beating Ole Miss was an NCAA ranked Quad 2 win, but not much of a boost to the Tide’s overall resume. It was not much of a boost because the Tide already had a quality resume. The win was important in maintaining a good NCAA Tournament seeding in the No. 5- No. 8 range. Perhaps more important was Crimson Tide players badly needed a confidence boost, after the losses to Auburn and Kentucky.
Because of its strength of schedule, the Crimson Tide is not an NCAA bubble team. It also is not likely to become one and probably only needs two or three more wins to assure itself of a Big Dance berth in the No. 9 or No. 10 range. Four more wins in the regular season and no matter what happens in the SEC Tournament, the Tide will be a No. 7 or No. 8 seed, and maybe even a No. 6.
Alabama has six Quad 1 wins, three Quad 2 wins and only two bad losses. In addition, the first Auburn loss will be considered a ‘good loss.’
The value of the Tide’s schedule strength is shown in the current NCAA NET ranking of No. 22, after the win over Ole Miss. Part of that current NET ranking comes from Alabama having wins over No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 3 Houston, No. 7 Baylor, No. 10 Tennessee and No. 16 LSU, though the Bengal Tigers are fading going 2-6 in recent games.
Alabama Basketball and the SEC Tournament Seeding
The SEC Tournament tie-breaker rules can become a factor in the eventual March seeding. An SEC Tournament rules summary was published by Bama Hammer previously,
"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 current Alabama Basketball, SEC record of 5-6, the Crimson Tide is tied with LSU and Vanderbilt at No. 7 in the SEC standings.
Using the tiebreakers, Vandy would be seeded No. 7 in the SEC Tournament, followed by Alabama at No. 8 and LSU at No. 9. The Tide would open with LSU on Thursday in Tampa, with the winner getting No. 1 seed Auburn on Friday.
Much will change in the seeding over the next three weeks. Bama Hammer will frequently update the Tide’s SEC seeding status.