Alabama Basketball: State of Tide Hoops after Gonzaga loss


The latest AP Poll did not punish Alabama Basketball too severely after the loss to Gonzaga. A drop from No. 4 to No. 9 is disappointing, but only one two-loss team is ranked above the Alabama Crimson Tide. That team, the also 9-2 Tennessee Vols, out-pointed the Tide by a slim margin.

Early polls are worthwhile as benchmarks, but the AP Poll is not one of the top sources for gauging where the Crimson Tide stands compared to other top teams.

One of the best sources is the NCAA NET, where the Crimson Tide dropped from No. 5 to No. 7. Other solid sources are the KenPom ratings and the data from Jeff Sagarin and Warren Nolan.

There are 363 Division One college basketball programs and where each one is ranked matters. In a too-obvious example, Alabama will play Jackson State on Tuesday. Jackson State is ranked No. 305 by Ken Pomeroy. A loss to such a lowly ranked team would be more than another ‘L’ in the season’s record, it would be a Quad 4 loss. Quad 4 losses are quite damaging to qualifying for the NCAA Tournament and seeding in the Big Dance.

Saturday’s Crimson Tide loss to Gonzaga and Alabama’s earlier loss to UCONN are just minor blips.

The Crimson Tide has another resume-building opportunity on Dec. 28 when it travels to Starkville to play the now 11-0 Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are currently No. 15 in the NCAA NET, making them the fourth-highest-ranked SEC team, behind Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas which are No. 8, 9 and 10.

More complete information will be provided later to preview the Mississippi State game.  A brief summary is their undefeated record has been built against mostly weak opposition, including a recent two-point home win over Nicholls State.

Alabama Basketball: Top Ranking Sources

  • AP Poll – No. 9
  • NCAA NET – No. 7
  • Ken Pomeroy – No. 12
  • Jeff Sagarin – No. 13
  • ESPN BPI – No. 10

Strength of Schedule (SOS) is always important in college basketball. Warren Nolan has the Tide’s SOS at No. 3 and the non-conference SOS at No. 2. ESPN’s SOS calculation for the Crimson Tide is No. 6. Among top-ranked teams, only Gonzaga, at No. 2 has a higher SOS.

Warren Nolan’s ‘Nitty Gritty Report’ is helpful for his breakdown of wins and losses by Quadrants. Alabama has no losses below Quad One and a Quad One record of 2-2. If the previously important RPI was used for the quadrants, rather than the NCAA NET, Alabama’s Quad One record would be 4-2.

Next. Crimson Tide and IMG. dark

It is early, but many basketball fans are well into NCAA Tournament bracketology. Bama Hammer will dive in as well, after Alabama Basketball’s next two games.