At least one and perhaps two Southeastern Conference men’s basketball teams will be in the NCAA Final Four following Sunday’s Elite 8 games, and Alabama is familiar with those SEC brethren, plus one team that already has punched its ticket to the finals.
Oregon defeated Kansas, 74-60, to move on to the Final Four in Phoenix next weekend. Oregon will play the winner of Sunday’s Kentucky vs. North Carolina game (4:05 p.m. CDT on CBS).
Also making it to the Final Four is Gonzaga, a 83-59 winner over Xavier. Gonzaga will take on the winner of Sunday’s All-SEC Elite Eight game between South Carolina and Florida (1:20 CDT on CBS).
The Alabama Crimson Tide team of Coach Avery Johnson just made it to the NIT, and went out in one game, a disappointing 71-64 loss to Richmond, but Bama certainly has an interest in what is going on in the NCAA Tournament.
In truth, Alabama played some of its best games against these teams that are in position to win the national championship.
The Tide’s only wins against the contenders came against South Carolina, but those were good wins – a 90-86 win over the Gamecocks in four overtimes in Columbia and a 64-53 win in the SEC Tournament in Nashville.
Alabama played an early game at Oregon and lost to the Ducks by 65-56.
The Tide lost to Florida in Tuscaloosa by 80-67.
Kentucky was a 67-58 winner over Bama in Coleman Coliseum and downed Alabama by 79-74 in the SEC Tournament, en route to the Wildcats winning it all in Nashville.
The Tide’s worst loss was by 13 points to Florida. The other three losses were by 9 points to Oregon and by 9 and 5 to Kentucky. Bama’s wins over South Carolina were by 4 and 11.