Will Alabama-Tennessee decide the SEC regular season?

Alabama v Tennessee
Alabama v Tennessee / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Alabama Basketball and Tennessee both got big wins on Wednesday night, setting up what should be the game of the year in the league. The Vols will come to Tuscaloosa on Saturday in a gargantuan matchup that could decide the SEC regular season championship.

Bama hit 15 threes en route to a 103-88 road win over Ole Miss, while Tennessee took down Auburn 92-84 in Knoxville behind 39 points from Dalton Knecht.

After the dust settled, Bama and Tennessee both stayed atop the league standings with matching 12-3 SEC records heading into the rivalry showdown between the two. Both teams control their own destiny, and will be crowned champs if they win out. 

Earlier this year, the Vols beat Alabama by 20 in Knoxville, but Nate Oats’ squad has been on another level in Coleman Coliseum recently. The Tide is 13-1 at home this season, and 28-1 over the last two years. Additionally, Alabama is undefeated in conference games in the building over the last two seasons. 

This weekend’s game won’t be easy. Tennessee plays hard-nosed defense as it always has under Rick Barnes, and now has one of the best scorers in college basketball in Knecht. The Vols have been an elite team for much of this season, and have the opportunity to push for a no. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

This game is far from the finish line in the SEC title race; both Alabama and Tennessee have more difficult games going forward. In fact, both teams will play road games against ranked opponents immediately following this matchup. Still, the winner of this game will take a commanding lead in the hunt for the regular season championship.

Ideally, Alabama will be healthy and Coach Oats will have his full complement of weapons at his disposal. Bama will have to continue the offensive efficiency it has displayed most of this year, and will have to find a way to slow down Knecht.

If it can do so, the Tide will secure a massive win in Coleman.