Alabama Basketball: Midweek SEC action and more Hoops to consider

With the lofty ranking Alabama Basketball has earned, every week of the season has become a big week. The Crimson Tide has an important road game Wednesday night against Arkansas.

In this uncommon Alabama basketball season, it is justifiable for Alabama fans to closely follow potential NCAA Tournament seeding. Barring unseen catastrophe, a Big Dance berth is assured for the Crimson Tide. A current calculation by Team Rankings shows Alabama’s chance of an NCAA Tournament bid is 100%.

So this season, like the fans of college basketball’s blue bloods, Crimson Tide fans can fully engage in bracket-seeding debates. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is a good early source on seeding and his current Bracketology has the Crimson Tide as a 1-seed. Lunardi’s other 1-seeds are Houston, Purdue and Kansas.

Looking forward to the 2023 NCAA Tournament is great fun. Doing so is aided by remembering for Alabama Basketball, and every other team, the path is long and a seeding outcome is more than two months away.

Diving deeper than bracketology is following the Crimson Tide’s progress on the S-curve. The NCAA Tournament Selection committee uses an S-Curve to seed the 68 teams. Its importance can be explained by the S-curve resulting in the overall No. 1 seed being bracketed with the lowest 2-seed or the No. 8 seed. If Joe Lunardi’s current bracket proved to match the actual brackets on Mar. 12, Alabama as a 1-seed would have UCONN as its 2-seed counterpart.

How to follow Alabama Basketball’s seed position

At the simplest level, while not chasing data from many sources, Alabama fans can follow the NCAA NET Rankings. Before the games of Jan. 10, the Tide’s NET ranking was No. 6 among 363 Division One teams. Following a premise that early deep dives into data are not yet necessary, a simpler look at what drives NET rankings is Quad 1 wins.

Alabama has three Quad 1 wins over Houston, North Carolina, and for now Mississippi State. Ten Division One teams have more Quad 1 wins than the Crimson Tide. They are Kansas and Purdue with six; UConn, Arizona and Miami with five and Texas, Providence, Iowa, Kansas State and Pittsburgh with four each.

Alabama can gain another one this week against Arkansas. There are also good Quad 1 losses, that can become a factor. Alabama has at least one to U Conn and arguably a second one to Gonzaga.

Following the Crimson Tide’s NCAA Tournament potential can be done by following the progress of every team the Tide has played or will play in the regular season. For example, on Tuesday Alabama would benefit from wins by Michigan State over Wisconsin, Oklahoma over Kansas and UNC over Virginia. A Kentucky win might help, but less so because the Cats play future Tide opponent South Carolina.

Two more games for Tide fans to follow on Wednesday night are Memphis vs. UCF and USF vs. Houston. Wins by the Tigers and Cougars would help the Tide. Mississippi State beating Georgia is also noteworthy, in the hope the Bulldogs can gain enough wins to keep the Tide’s Starkville win in the Quad 1 category.

There will be lots of twists and turns. Many surprising game outcomes are impossible to predict. Recently, a 6-10 Washington State team played Arizona in Tuscon. Zona, now with a No. 9 NET ranking, lost 74-61.