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What do we need to know about Alabama?
Sitting at 18-14 on the year and 8-10 in the SEC, Alabama’s NCAA Tournament dreams likely rely completely on how they finish this week. They’ve finished with impressive victories (No. 13 Kentucky, No. 20 Ole Miss, and No. 22 Mississippi State), and also competed well against elite opponents (fell by just three vs. No. 3 Tennessee, five against No. 13 LSU).
On the flip side, however, they have lost to mediocre opponents in Northeastern, Georgia State, Texas A&M, and Baylor, among others.
Overall, the Crimson Tide have a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging more than seven points and no one averaging more than 14 points per contest.
Freshman guard Kira Lewis Jr. leads the way with 13.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and nearly one steal per game.
Senior forward Donta Hall nearly averages a double-double, managing 10.5 points, 8.8 rebounds (SEC leader), and 1.7 blocks per contest. He’s an athletic rim-running big, the exact type of player that Kentucky has struggled to match up with this season.
Sophomore guard and former Kentucky target John Petty rounds out Alabama’s double-digit scorers, averaging 10.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He finished with just two points on 1-2 shooting last night, and he hasn’t finished with ten or more points in three outings.
Outside of the big three, junior guard Tevin Mack is a familiar name for the Wildcats, as the junior guard finished with 22 points and a ridiculous six 3-pointers in Alabama’s victory over Kentucky back in January. He also managed 21 points and four 3-pointers last night and has finished in double figures in each of the team’s last three games. The 6-foot-6 playmaker is hitting his stride at the right time.
Junior guard Dazon Ingram is also a solid contributor off the bench for the Crimson Tide, averaging 7.1 points on nearly 40 percent shooting from three, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
As a team, the Crimson Tide average 72.3 points (No. 9 in the SEC) and 37.8 rebounds (No. 5) per contest, but also finish with just 12.3 assists (No. 10) per game.
In terms of pure shooting, Alabama shoots 44.5 percent overall (No. 8) and 34 percent from three (No. 9), but they are dead last in free throws in conference play at 66.4 percent.
As of right now, the Wildcats favored by a smooth 10.5 points against the Crimson Tide, including an over/under total set at 138.
Kentucky is 16-15-0 against the spread this year while Alabama sits at 13-18-1. The Cats have covered the spread in just four of their last ten games, including just one of their last five with Reid Travis out (including Missouri). The Tide, however, have covered in just three of their last ten matchups and one over their last four.
The other prediction like ESPN’s matchup predictor, Number Fire, and KenPom have not been released quite yet, but we’ll be sure to send it your way when the time comes.
Reid Travis is back
After cryptic messages from the UK basketball Twitter account throughout the day, we finally got confirmation from Kentucky head coach John Calipari last night that star forward Reid Travis WILL play tonight.
“Yeah (he will), he said. “He’s been terrific in practice. Kind of surprising. Conditioning looked OK. Asked him, ‘How’d you do that?’ ‘I was on that treadmill and that water going hard.’ So he’ll be fine.”
In fact, Calipari said the senior big man is further along in the rehab/recovery process than he anticipated.
“I don’t know (if he’ll be on a minute restriction/will only play in short bursts. We’ll let him see,” he said. “He’s farther along than I thought.”
Kentucky has done okay in the win-loss column with Travis out, but it’s been evident his toughness and leadership has been missing.
Now, it’s gametime.
Prepare on the KSR Pregame Show
Before the Kentucky takes the court, listen to the KSR crew preview the matchup between the Cats and the Gators. All of the action begins on 630 WLAP or online at 3:30 p.m. CT (4:30 ET).
How to Watch and Listen
Tom Hart, Jon Sundvold, and Andy Kennedy are on the call for the SEC Network beginning at 6 p.m. CT (7 ET). If you’re stuck on the road and can’t watch, there are multiple ways to listen to The Voice of the Wildcats.
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-190 and Sirius-119
- Online: iHeart Radio
SEC Tournament Bracket Update
To get things started yesterday afternoon, the No. 8 Florida Gators took home a convincing 66-50 victory over Arkansas, up followed by Auburn putting on yet another impressive scoring display in an 81-71 victory over Missouri.
In the evening session, the No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide upset No. 7 Ole Miss by a score of 62-57 in game one, followed by a blowout 80-54 victory for No. 6 Mississippi State over No. 6 Texas A&M.
As a result, Florida will take on No. 1 seed LSU at noon (CT), followed by No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 4 South Car0lina at 2:00 p.m. CT.
In the evening games, No. 2 Kentucky will get the ball rolling against Alabama at 6:00 p.m. CT, followed by No. 3 Tennessee taking on MSU at 8:00 p.m. CT.
Here is an updated look at the bracket, where winners from today’s games will move on to the semifinals tomorrow afternoon:
KSR is LIVE from Tin Roof
In one of the biggest and craziest shows of the year, the KSR crew will be at Tin Roof on Broadway starting at 9 a.m. CT.
Tin Roof Night Nashville…9 am tomorrow…get there early. Gonna be a party
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 15, 2019
And to no one’s surprise, the Big Blue Nation came through once again, as the line is already backed up around the block to get in.
— JAK (@BUCats) March 15, 2019
Here are a few pictures for proof:
Its 7:45 AM!!!!Where is the party at for UT? Asking for a friend? @ryanlemond @KySportsRadio @ShannonTheDude @DrewFranklinKSR @GoVols247 @GoVols247 @CTVols55 @UTVolife @itvol pic.twitter.com/aXqJPKcIv3
— matt stuart (@sophnickrichard) March 15, 2019
Get ready, BBN. It’s going to be a rowdy one.