Alabama Basketball looking to get back on track

Alabama v Auburn
Alabama v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Bama Hoops took its second loss of the SEC season on Wednesday night, falling to Auburn by a score of 99-81.

While Alabama Basketball has had a successful season by most metrics and remains in the thick of the SEC Championship race, its two conference losses are ugly blemishes on its resume.

In road games against hated rivals Tennessee and Auburn, the Tide was largely uncompetitive and looked overmatched from the tip. While Bama continues to look like one of the best teams in college basketball at home, it must find a way to beat good teams on the road (or at least keep such games close) if it wants to be taken seriously among the contenders.

Of course, these are first-world problems.

The fact that Alabama’s most concerning issue is its performance in some of the toughest environments in the sport speaks to how good the 2023-24 team has become after a shaky start.

Further, it is a credit to the work Coach Nate Oats has done, building this program into one that competes for conference championships on a year-in and year-out basis. Even amidst our critiques, it’s important to keep perspective and appreciate that Coach Oats is doing something special. 

How will Alabama look going forward?

Coming off the loss to Auburn, things won’t get much easier for the Tide. Bama finishes the season with a brutal 8-game gauntlet that will contain no easy wins. This weekend will bring an opportunity for Alabama to get a road win and start to wash the taste of the Auburn loss away. Although Bama hung 109 points on LSU in Tuscaloosa, winning an early tip-off in Baton Rouge won’t be a cakewalk. 

The Crimson Tide will also go to Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Florida in the regular season, none of which will be easy trips. Even the home games figure to present a formidable challenge. Bama will host no. 6 Tennessee, as well as tough opponents in Florida and Texas A&M. Even Arkansas, who has really struggled this season, has a lot of talent and one of the better coaches in the league. Bama will host the Hogs in the regular season finale on March 9th. 

Prior to heading down to the Plains, Alabama was playing its best basketball of the season. A win at LSU would get the ball rolling once again, while back-to-back losses could begin to derail Bama’s regular season title hopes. This is far from a must-win game, but it is critical if the Tide hopes to keep the SEC crown.