ESPN projects Alabama Basketball to advance to Final Four

The ESPN BPI algorithm favors the chances for the Alabama Crimson Tide to advance to the program's first-ever Final Four.

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A Saturday morning projection by ESPN has Alabama Basketball with the third-highest probability of advancing to the Final Four.

ESPN Analytics used its BPI algorithm to project the winning probability in each Elite Eight game. Only Duke and UConn were calculated to have higher advancement probabilities than the Alabama Crimson Tide.

On Friday, Nate Oats strongly advised his team to avoid rat poison by ignoring all external sources discussing the matchup with Clemson. Oats even used some 'Nick Saban' admonishment and advice for the Alabama basketball team.

Alabama Crimson Tide and Focus

The message from Oats was simple and clear; complete focus on preparing for the game and "anything else is a total distraction." Crimson Tide fans hope the message sent by Oats received complete buy-in from every Alabama Crimson Tide player.

The ESPN projection does not reflect the BPI algorithm ranking Alabama Basketball as the third-best of the final eight teams. What it does is calculate Saturday and Sunday's matchups. So Purdue, whom ESPN projects to have the fourth-best chance to advance, also has a higher probability of winning the NCAA Tournament Championship, than Alabama. The Tennessee Volunteers do as well, though playing a tough Elite Eight opponent in Purdue, the Vols' odds to win it all are not much higher than the Crimson Tide's.

ESPN Elite Eight and National Championship Projections

  • Make the Final Four: Duke Blue Devils, 84.6%; UConn Huskies, 75.9%; Alabama Crimson Tide, 67.6%; Purdue Boilermakers, 62.1%; Tennessee Vols, 37.9%; Clemson Tigers, 32.4%; Illinois Fighting Illini, 24.1% and North Carolina State Wolfpack, 15.4%.
  • Win the NCAA Tournament: UConn Huskies; 33.7%; Purdue Boilermakers, 24.1%; Duke Blue Devils, 16.3%; Tennessee Vols, 10%; Alabama Crimson Tide, 8.9%; Illinois Fighting Illini, 5.4%; Clemson Tigers, 1.5% and North Carolina State Wolfpack, 0.3%.

Alabama fans often doubt both the ESPN BPI and its football version, FPI. At least for a few hours today, Alabama fans should be pleased with ESPN's projections.

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