Alabama Basketball: Likely Big Dance seed and opening game opponent


Officially, shortly after 5:00 PM CST Sunday afternoon, Alabama Basketball will be an NCAA Tournament team. The Selection Sunday broadcast to unveil the 68-team field can be seen on CBS, and on an NCAA live stream, available here.

Crimson Tide hoops fans are generally pleased Nate Oats’ team accomplished back-to-back Big Dance invites for the first time in 15 seasons. There is, however, more than a little concern the faltering Crimson Tide will be a one-and-out team. It is hard to be more optimistic than pessimistic.

After the loss to Vandy in the SEC Tournament, one Crimson Tide fan texted a summation, that many other Tide fans may have shared,

"I had little faith in the Tide and it was still too much"

Now, new confidence is needed by fans, but more importantly by Nate Oats’ players. Going on an NCAA Tournament run is implausible given the Tide’s season of inconsistencies. Winning a couple of games would be great. Realistically, not getting bumped out after the opening game is an acceptable goal.

Bracketologists differ on what the Tide’s seed is, where it will play, and against what team. The most common seed position is No. 6, followed by No. 7, and a few predictions have the Crimson Tide holding on to a 5-seed.

Jerry Palm has the Tide as a 7-seed, playing in Pittsburgh against Wyoming. Joe Lunardi has the Crimson Tide as a 6-seed, playing Rutgers in Pittsburgh. Every year, lesser-known Bracketologists out-perform Palm and Lunardi. Looking at several of the top ones shows the 5-seed to 7-seed range. The game locations picked are most often Buffalo, Milwaukee and Indianapolis, as well as Pittsburgh.

The teams most often selected as the Tide’s first opponent are Rutgers, SMU, Iowa State and Miami. In a sample of six ‘other; Bracketologists, Rutgers was tabbed as the Tide opponent three times.

Interesting Alabama Basketball Opponent

A game against the Scarlet Knights would be interesting. Rutgers at 18-13 has been wildly inconsistent like the Crimson Tide. The Scarlet Knights have big wins and ugly losses like the Crimson Tide. Any prediction for that game could only be a guess.

Another interesting, potential Tide matchup, though not projected by the reviewed Bracketologists, would be UAB. Many basketball fans for both schools would like to see the teams compete. UAB will be in the field as the CUSA Champion.

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At this point. some of us have narrowed out Big Dance expectations to hoping whomever the opponent, the Crimson Tide plays like it deserves to be in the Big Dance.