TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Even though LSU wasn’t considered the toughest of opponents, the University of Alabama basketball team being able to avoid a loss on Tuesday may have helped its postseason chances.
Consequently, Alabama is no longer just considered a likely participant in the NCAA Tournament, but is now being hailed as worthy of advancing.
Obviously, the better the seeding the better the team’s chances of winning. Instead of being a No. 9 or No. 10 seed, which would face a No. 8 or No. 7 team, the Crimson Tide appears to be playing itself into a more favored pairing in the first round.
However, Alabama has a tough schedule for its final five games of the regular season beginning at Kentucky on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, CBS). It subsequently visits No. 10 Auburn, hosts Arkansas and Florida, and finishes up at No. 21 Texas A&M before heading to the SEC Tournament in St. Louis.
Through games on Wednesday, Alabama was listed No. 32 in the NCAA’s latest RPI rankings. All of its upcoming opponents are in the top 37, with the Wildcats 20th even with four straight losses.
For three straight weeks, Alabama had followed a win against a ranked opponent with a disappointing loss, although in the first case it played Mississippi State between the win against No. 17 Auburn and the setback at Ole Miss.
It knocked off No. 12 Oklahoma only to lose to Missouri. The win at No. 23 Florida was followed by a loss at Mississippi State.
“We haven’t been able to have that high level of concentration and competitive spirit on these short turnarounds,” coach Avery Johnson said after Alabama’s 80-65 victory against LSU. “We beat a really good Florida team and then the next game I don’t recognize our team. And we’ve had that happen so many times this season.”
Instead, the Crimson Tide (16-9, 7-5 SEC) are being called one of the hottest teams in college basketball.
Here are the latest listings from numerous bracketology experts:
ESPN (Joe Lunardi): As of Friday had Alabama as a No. 6 seed in the Midwest, playing North Carolina State in Dallas.
CBS (Jerry Palm): On Friday, Alabama was listed as a No. 9 seed in the South, playing Houston in Detroit.
Teamrankings.com : Lists Alabama as having a 92 percent chance of landing a bid (up from 72 percent a week ago), and projects the Crimson Tide as a No. 7 seed.
Yahoo Sports (Brad Evans) : As of Thursday, Alabama was listed as a No. 7 seed, along with “ Top-10 defense on display against LSU. Held Tigers to 0.93 pts/poss.” A week ago Alabama was the top No. 10 seed.
SI.com (Michael Beller) : As of Thursday, Alabama was a No. 7 seed in the South, paired against Butler. No site location included.
HoopsHD.com : Has Alabama as a No. 7 seed in the West, facing North Carolina State in Charlotte.
Selection Sunday is set for March 11.
The post Bracketologists have Alabama basketball seeded to advance in NCAA Tournament appeared first on SEC Country.