Alabama basketball team still faces tough road toward NCAA tournament
The postseason is quickly approaching, and the Alabama men’s basketball team might be on the outside looking in if it can’t take care of its remaining conference games.
The Tide is 14-7 (6-2 SEC) and coming off of its latest comeback victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores It has now won six of its last seven games, all against Southeastern Conference foes.
But this team is not a stranger to impressive streaks that fizzle out just as fans thoroughly start to enjoy them. Alabama jumped out to a 6-0 record to begin the year and looked like a squad destined for the NCAA tournament.
However, the Tide narrowly fell to a tough Cincinnati team and lost control over the remainder of its weak non-conference schedule. Losses to Dayton, Mercer and Tulane could potentially come back to bite Alabama.
A loss to Cincinnati or Virginia-Commonwealth happens, but a gome loss to Mercer is completely unacceptable.
Alabama must also find a way to win on the road. This season, the Tide is only 3-4 away from Coleman Coliseum – that’s excluding the two games that it won in New York as a part of the 2K Sports Classic.
With four losses staining the Tide’s record it might ultimately miss a chance to compete for a national championship. Without those losses, Alabama and head coach Anthony Grant are looking swell at 18-3 (7-1 SEC).
On the bright side, the 10 games left on the schedule are manageable. The Tide will face Auburn, Georgia and LSU twice, and the only teams that possess a better conference record than Alabama are Florida and Ole Miss, and the Tide only face each team once.
There is still a chance the Tide can squeeze into the tournament at season’s end, but that chance is paper-thin. Alabama will have to rely on its guard play and second half comebacks to catapult it into the postseason. Its sheer ability to shoot poorly, get out-rebounded and still win the game will not work every time.
Leading in today's Crimson White: