On Monday, when the traditional polls are released, Alabama Basketball will be ranked either No. 1 or No. 2. The Crimson Tide’s elevation will occur because former No. 1 team, Houston was upset by Temple 56-55.
The last time Alabama Basketball was ranked No. 1 in either of the traditional polls was in the 2002 season. Alabama won 27 games that season. The last win was over Florida Atlantic in the NCAA Tournament, followed by a Big Dance loss to Kent State.
Whether Monday’s ranking is No. 1 or No. 2, Nate Oats will make it clear to his team to ignore it. Dashing out to 17-2 means nothing if the 2022-23 season comes short of championships. Oats probably will not, but he could point out, the 2002 team finished the season ranked No. 8.
2022-23 Alabama Basketball Potential Milestones
The 2022-23 Alabama Crimson Tide can achieve some other, more important milestones this season. The most wins in a season for the Crimson Tide was 28 in the 1986-87 season. Due to two vacated victories, the ‘official’ most wins in a season is 27 in 2001-02. Nate Oats; team has at least 14 more games to set a new single-season win record.
Alabama also has a chance to become the second Crimson Tide team to go undefeated in an SEC regular season. Alabama Basketball did it in the 1955-56 season, compiling a 14-0 SEC record. One of the 14 wins was monumental as Johnny Dee’s Rocket Eight torched the Kentucky Wildcats inside Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, AL. Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky teams had never allowed an opponent to score 100 points. After a close first half, the Crimson Tide exploded, beating the Wildcats, 101-77.
The 1956 NCAA Tournament included 25 teams. Kentucky was one and Alabama was not. The Crimson Tide was ruled ineligible because all five of the Tide’s starters had played as freshmen, against NCAA rules.
Some Alabama Basketball historians contend the 1955-56 team was the Crimson Tide’s best-ever. Johnny Dee left Alabama after four seasons. Later, he coached Notre Dame and took his alma mater to four NCAA Tournaments.
Before the college basketball, week 12 polls are released, other more important rankings will be known. On Sunday night those rankings included the Alabama Crimson Tide at No. 3 in the NCAA NET ranking; No. 3 in the ESPN BPI; No. 1 in the KPI; No. 3 by Ken Pomeroy and No. 2 by Jeff Sagarin, with a No. 1 ranked SOR (Strength of Record) as calculated by ESPN.
In an interesting, but at this point, inconclusive prediction, Warren Nolan’s credible algorithm predicts the Tide’s, SEC, regular season record will be 18-0.