Alabama Basketball: Does the SEC need an Arkansas win to save face?


Some Alabama basketball fans have a dilemma. At least those still actively following the NCAA Tournament, have a decision to make Thursday night. When Arkansas tips it off against Gonzaga in San Francisco, should a staunch Crimson Tide fan root for the Razorbacks or the West Coast Bulldogs.

Nate Oats’ team had wins over both in the regular season and while the Tide watches, the two teams are in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. Perhaps there is a pick from a credible source I have missed, but it appears everyone is picking Gonzaga to win.

Given how the season played out for the Crimson Tide, its best performances came against Miami, Gonzaga, Houston and Arkansas, now all Sweet Sixteen teams. Andy Katz recently ranked the Sweet 16 teams and he has the Zags at No. 2, Houston at No. 8, Miami at No. 13 and Arkansas at No. 14. The Alabama team that finished the season would rightfully be a huge underdog against each of those four teams today.

As Tide hoops fans, we can whine about what might have been, or we can follow the rest of the Big Dance closely. We’ll see some good basketball if we do.

March Madness has not been kind to the SEC. In fact, a logical conclusion is the league’s basketball reputation has been tarnished by the Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee (and especially) Kentucky losses. The St. Peter’s Peacocks taking down the Kentucky Wildcats was one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history.

Arkansas is to be respected for its tough, intense play. The Razorbacks also have some skilled players and whether an Alabama fan likes Eric Musselman or not, the Arkansas coach gets the most out of his players. They will need all their skill and toughness to not suffer a double-digit loss to the Zags.

What Alabama basketball fans should do on Thursday

The SEC very much needs the Razorbacks to pull off an upset. Otherwise, the basketball component of the league will be mocked for at least months. An already trendy phrase contends, “SEC basketball, it just means less.”

For that reason we Crimson Tide fans might root for the Hogs. A better idea might be wishing both teams play well, befitting their Sweet Sixteen stature.

Next. Signs point to a one-and-done JD Davison. dark

Whichever team wins, the Alabama Crimson Tide will have scores to settle with them both next season.