Good Time To Get Back To Winning

Failure to correctly set the alarm clock Saturday night could result in missing Alabama basketball on Sunday. Some may feel that might not be a bad thing. The Crimson Tide gave a little hope regarding road play last week, but most optimism about a strong Bama finish collapsed along with the Alabama performance against Auburn earlier this week. Still, that's why they play the games.

Alabama will be at Tennessee Sunday for the final regular season game of the year. The game is being televised by CBS with tipoff at noon EDT. Notice the E; that's for Eastern. Notice the D; that's for Daylight Savings. In the central time zone (i.e., Alabama) that means tipoff is at 11 a.m. (CDT). And Daylight Savings Time means it's time to "Spring Forward." Although the time changes officially at 2 a.m., most will change clocks tonight, going from (for instance) 9 to 10.

Alabama went to Ole Miss on the final day in February and delivered the Crimson Tide's first Southeastern Conference road victory in over two years, a thorough 90-69 dismantling of the Rebels. That was the third straight win for Bama and there were hopes of finishing the season strong, a reasonable mathematical chance at finishing with the number two seed from the SEC West.

That all evaporated Tuesday when Alabama was out-hustled and out-played and let a 13-point second half lead disappear in Coleman Coliseum against Auburn. Bama was a 77-73 loser.

Alabama is 16-13 overall and 6-9 in SEC games. Tennessee rolled to an 86-70 over SEC East leader South Carolina in Columbia Thursday, assuring the Vols of no worse than a tie in the SEC East. Tennessee is 19-10 overall and 10-5 in league games.

Alabama is expected to continue its starting lineup. The Tide is led by 6-6 wing player Alonzo Gee, Bama's lone senior in regular rotation. Gee is averaging a team-leading 15 points per game. He also averages 7.3 rebounds per game.

Freshman low post player JaMychal Green, 6-9, 220, averages 10.2 points and a team-leading 7.4 rebounds per game.

Other starters are expected to be 6-1 sophomore wing Senario Hillman (13.2 points per game), 6-0 junior point guard Mikhail Torrance (9.4 points, 2.3 assists pr game) and 6-9, 240-pound sophomore high post Justin Knox (5.8 points, 5.2 rebounds per game).

Bama has been playing about nine players with Anthony Brock the sub at point, Andrew Steele working at wing, and Demetrius Jemison and Yamene Coleman getting minutes in the post.

Tennessee is led by junior forwards Tyler Smith (6-7, 215, averaging 17.3 points, 5.8 rebounds per game) and Wayne Chism (6-9, 242, averaging 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds per game).

Although Alabama has won seven of the last ten games against Tennessee, Bama has only a 5-7 all-time record at the Vols' Thompson-Boling Arena and the Vols have won the last two meetings.

The SEC Tournament begins Thursday in Tampa.

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