Alabama Basketball: How far will the Crimson Tide fall?


Alabama basketball fans are asking how far the Crimson Tide will fall, following the loss to Gonzaga. Such a question is usually posed in relation to the weekly AP Poll.

It is fun to follow the AP Poll, though it brings little value to tracking a team’s post-season future. Last Monday, Alabama Basketball was No. 4 in the AP Poll, up from No. 8 the week before. Gonzaga was ranked No. 15 going into Saturday’s game.

A guess is the next AP Poll will have the Crimson Tide as a top 10 team, and probably dropping no lower than No. 8.

Close followers of college basketball know there are at least another half dozen sources whose algorithms, leading to rankings, are more valuable than the AP Poll.

The ESPN BPI is one. Another is Ken Pomeroy’s highly respected rankings. The rankings provided by Jeff Sagarin are another. There is no one source that is much better than all the others in ranking teams, but the NCAA NET rankings come closest.

The current iteration of the NCAA NET is comprised of a Team Value Index (TVI) and a less easily understood calculation defined as the “adjusted net efficiency rating.”

Basketball fans not wanting to go too deep into the weeds only need to understand that in the NCAA NET calculation, both the quality of wins and the quality of losses matter. That quality is measured by a four-quadrant system.

Quad One wins are golden. Quad Two wins are resume builders. Quad Four losses are major black marks and Quad Three losses are not good. A Quad One loss does little to damage a team’s resume. So, as long as Gonzaga is ranked inside the top 50 at the end of the season, the Tide’s loss on Saturday will have very little adverse effect. In this case, the Birmingham game will be treated as a neutral site, even though it was not. The same thing happened last season when the Zags played the Tide in Seattle.

Good weekend news for Alabama Basketball

The good news for the weekend (through Saturday night) is every team Alabama has played this season won on Saturday. There is one exception in that South Alabama had no game. All the others from Longwood and Liberty to Houston and Memphis won.

Next. Year of Tide Hoops tells a story. dark

This post will be updated on Sunday to include the latest NCAA NET rankings, reflecting all games played through Saturday, Dec. 17.

UPDATE: In the latest NCAA NET rankings, the Crimson Tide dropped two spots from No. 5 to No. 7.