Alabama opened the Southeastern Conference schedule in Coach Avery Johnson’s first year with the Crimson Tide by opening up the new arena at Ole Miss. It was not a good start as Bama fell to the Rebels, 74-66.
Although Alabama has had a far better season than anyone expected, the Crimson Tide has been on a slide. Bama was picked to finish 13th in the 14-team SEC and finished with an 8-10 record, good enough for a 10 seed. That puts Alabama in the fourth game of the tournament against No. 7 seed Ole Miss. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m. CST Thursday in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
The winner of Alabama-Ole Miss will meet Kentucky on Friday. The Wildcats had two easy wins over the Tide in regular season play.
Because Missouri is not eligible for post-season play, the tournament has only 13 teams, starting Wednesday with No. 13 Auburn meeting No. 12 Tennessee.
Here is the tournament bracket:
FIRST ROUND - March 9 (Wednesday)
Game 1 #12 Tennessee vs. #13 Auburn [SEC Network] 7:00 p.m. CT
SECOND ROUND - March 10 (Thursday)
Game 2 #8 Florida vs. #9 Arkansas [SEC Network] Noon CT
Game 3 Game 1 Winner vs. #5 Vanderbilt [SEC Network] 25 min after G2
Game 4 #7Ole Miss vs. #10 Alabama [SEC Network] 6:00 p.m. CT
Game 5 #6 Georgia vs. #11 Mississippi State [SEC Network] 25 min after G4
QUARTERFINALS - March 11 (Friday)
Game 6 Game 2 Winner vs. #1 Texas A&M [SEC Network] Noon CT
Game 7 Game 3 Winner vs. #4 LSU [SEC Network] 25 min after G6
Game 8 Game 4 Winner vs. #2 Kentucky [SEC Network] 6:00 p.m. CT
Game 9 Game 5 Winner vs. #3 South Carolina [SEC Network] 25 min after G8
SEMIFINALS - March 12 (Saturday)
Game 10 Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner [ESPN] Noon CT
Game 11 Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner [ESPN] 25 min after G10
FINALS - March 13 (Sunday)
Game 12 Game 10 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner [ESPN] Noon CT