Tide Basketball Has Final Non-SEC Game

The Alabama men's basketball team has played 12 games this season, but for many Crimson Tide fans the basketball year doesn't start until football ends. Well, football is over. Unfortunately, some think the Bama basketball season is over because the Tide has lost four of its last five games and has a 5-7 record.

Alabama will play its final non-conference game of the season at 4:30 p.m. CST today in Coleman Coliseum when the Tide hosts the Robert Morris Colonials. The Tide begins Southeastern Conference play Tuesday hosting Vanderbilt.

It's not too hard to put a finger on Alabama's problem thus far this season. Bama has not finished well.

The Tide has not won a game this season in contests that have been decided by 10 or fewer points. All seven of the losses are in that category. The seven losses have been by a combined total of 38 points, an average of 5.4 points per game.

In each of the seven losses, Alabama either had the lead or was close in the late going, only to have the opponent go on a run and win the game.

In the first loss of the year by nine points to Oklahoma (73-82), the Sooners went on a late 10-1 run.

Against Duke, the 10-point loss (64-74) included the Blue Devils going on a late 13-8 run.

In a triple overtime loss to Drexel (83-85), Drexel scored the final four points of the game.

In a two-point loss at South Florida (64-66), the late run was 18-6.

Hosting Wichita State, the game was tied 58-58, but the Shockers had a late 13-8 run to win by 72-67.

Xavier scored on nine of its final 10 possessions in overcoming a seven-point Tide lead with an 18-6 run in a 77-74 win over Bama.

And in its last game, the Tide was tied at 67-67 with UCLA in Pauley Pavilion with 1:34 to play and the Bruins scored the final eight points of the game (all on free throws) to win 75-67.

To be sure, Alabama has played a difficult schedule. The seven losses have come against teams with a combined record of 75-18.

Alabama senior guard Trevor Releford had a season-high 34 points at UCLA. Releford leads the Tide in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game.

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