Alabama basketball aims to avoid another letdown: Game info and preview vs. LSU (February, 13, 2018)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The challenge for the University of Alabama men’s basketball team is obvious: avoid another letdown.

Five times it’s knocked off a team ranked in the AP Top 25 this season. Three of the first four times it followed with a disappointing loss.

Coming off maybe its most impressive win, 78-50 against No. 15 Tennessee, it can continue to build its résumé for the NCAA Tournament when LSU visits Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday.

“Overall, I thought we had highly rated game on defense against Tennessee,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “We had better balance on offense, more ball movement. Now, it’s just a matter of can we maintain that level — I’m not going to say of consistency — can we maintain that level of focus, concentration, tenacity and toughness in practice and hopefully it will carry over.”

Johnson said he liked the way the team responded on Sunday. At this point, he doesn’t have to say much about what’s at stake during this last three weeks of the regular season.

“We were a little more focused at practice,” freshman forward Alex Reese said. “Our heads weren’t too high.”

“The energy has been better,” junior forward Donta Hall said.

A major point of concern for LSU is that when Alabama won the first meeting between the teams at Baton Rouge on Jan. 13, won by Alabama 74-66, Hall was out with a wrist fracture and the Tigers were still outrebounded 40-24.

Sophomore guard Dazon Ingram led the Crimson Tide with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman guard Collin Sexton had 15 points and 7 rebounds.

Game details

  • Records: Alabama (19-9 overall, 7-5 SEC); LSU (14-10, 5-7 SEC)
  • Where: Coleman Coliseum
  • When: 9 p.m. ET

What’s the best way to keep up with the game

Fans have numerous options:

TV: SEC Network

Radio: In Tuscaloosa, WFFN 95.3 FM. Otherwise, games can be found on affiliates of the Crimson Tide Sports Network or on TideTV.

Live stats: rolltide.com

Twitter updates: @AlabamaMBB

Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Daymeon Fishback (analyst) will have the television broadcast, with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on radio.

So, what are quadrant wins and what do they mean for Alabama?

The NCAA selection committee is emphasizing what it calls a quadrant win-loss system, which is based on victories and winning percentage against quality opponents.

  • Quadrant 1: Home games vs. teams ranked 1-30 in RPI; neutral sites vs. 1-50; away games at 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; neutral 51-100; away 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; neutral 101-200; away 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; neutral 201-plus; away 241-plus

Alabama is 6-3 in Quadrant 1 games. It leads the SEC in both wins and winning percentage. Only five teams in college basketball have more Q1 wins: Villanova (9), Xavier (8), North Carolina (7) and Virginia (7).

Following the win against Tennessee on Saturday, Alabama was No. 33 in the NCAA RPI rankings that included games through Sunday. It’s 2-0 against teams in the top 10 of the RPI (No. 5 Rhode Island and No. 8 Auburn), and 4-0 against top 20 RPI teams.

“Look at the Top 25 wins and our record speaks for itself,” Johnson said. “[It says] that we are capable of getting it done.”

What you should know

  • Alabama’s 28-point victory against Tennessee was the largest in program history against an opponent ranked in the top 15 (88-61 over No. 3 Vanderbilt on Feb. 6, 1956.
  • LSU senior forward Duop Reath is averaging 15.6 points over his last five games, although his output has gone from just 5 points against Arkansas to 26 against Ole Miss on Saturday. He had a career-high 31 points and 13 rebounds at Vanderbilt on Jan. 20.
  • According to the SEC Network, Tigers freshman guard Tremont Waters became the second player over the last 20 years to have more than one 20-point, 10-assist game when he had 27 and 11, respectively, on Feb. 3. Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis was the other.
  • Johnson said that the Alabama big men may have had their most physical practice of the season prior to the Tennessee game, and praised their intensity. “They were mean,” he said. “Sometimes we had to kind of jump in and kind of separate them.”
  • LSU has lost four straight on the road, at Vanderbilt, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida. The last win away from home was at Arkansas on Jan. 10, 75-54.
  • Alabama will visit Kentucky on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET (CBS).

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