Tide Hosts Auburn In Home Finale

Alabama doesn't have the same goals it had in the pre-season, when the Crimson Tide was favored to win the Southeastern Conference Western Division championship. Of course, it's not the same Bama team that it was in October. Fortunately, it's not the same team it was a couple of weeks ago, either.



Alabama started the season with high hopes primarily because of the projected return of all-star point guard Ron Steele. Steele came back for a few months, but he wasn't all-star caliber after a series of serious injuries. Steele quit the team and not long after Coach Mark Gottfried was requested to join Steele in resigning his position. The elevation of Philip Pearson to interim coach wasn't an immediate fix, but lately the Crimson Tide basketball ship has been patched up pretty well.

The goals of championships are no more, but Bama is playing for something. First up is a chance to avenge an earlier defeat at Auburn when the Crimson Tide hosts its final home game at 8 p.m. CST Tuesday. The game in Coleman Coliseum will be telecast by ESPN .

Alabama has won three straight games, including defeating Ole Miss, 90-69, in Oxford Saturday. It was Alabama's first SEC road win in over two years. The Crimson Tide has improved its record to 16-12 overall and 6-8 in SEC games. Auburn has been one of the surprise teams of the year. The Tigers have won six of their last seven games and improved to 19-10 overall. Auburn is 8-6 in SEC games.

As is always the case for the final home game of the season, it will be Senior Night with pre-game festivities honoring Alonzo Gee and Brandon Hollinger.

Halftime will have Auburn presenting the ODK trophy to Alabama because of Bama's 36-0 win over the Tigers in football last season.

As in most sports, Alabama has a lead in the basketball series with Auburn. The Tide has won 84 and lost 55 of the previous 139 games, including a 34-6 record in Coleman Coliseum.

Bama has been led all year by Gee, who is averaging 14.9 points per game this season. Even though he had only 10 points at Ole Miss because he had to sit out much of the game with foul problems, he has averaged 20.3 points per game over the past three games and has scored in double figures in 24 of 28 games this season.

Alabama has one of the top freshmen in the league in JaMychal Green. The starting low post player for the Tide is averaging 11.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in SEC contests this year. Since the start of SEC play, Green has scored in double figures nine times and has five double-doubles, the most of any SEC player.

Bama has gotten a big boost off the bench from 5-9 point guard Anthony Brock. For the second time this season Brock hit five three-point shots in a game (5-6) as he scored a career high 17 points against Ole Miss.

Korvotney Barber leads Auburn with 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. DeWayne Reed is the Tigers' top scorer with 13.2 points per game.

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