The losing streak has now hit 5 games for Alabama basketball after a 68-66 loss to Texas A&M in College Station. After Alabama got blitzed by Florida on senior night in Tuscaloosa it made Saturday’s game against the Aggies virtually a must win for the Crimson Tide. Herb Jones who suffered a concussion against Florida was out for the game and his loss proved to be vital. Sexton poured in 23 points, 13 of those points coming from the foul line. John Petty as usual was a no show on the road only scoring 7 points in 37 minutes of action. Alabama who looked like they would be safely in the tournament after being 8-5 in conference all of a sudden are now one of Joe Lunardi’s last 4 team’s in after their 5 game skid. The Tide get a chance at revenge against the Aggies on Thursday as the two teams will meet in the 8-9 game of the SEC tournament with the winner playing Auburn on Friday. Many people believe the Tide have to beat A&M and maybe even Auburn to get themselves in the Tournament.
Some teams that had some huge wins on Saturday were Syracuse, UCLA, and Texas. Syracuse kept their Tournament chances alive by beating #18 Clemson at home 55-52. Clemson had a last second half court shot that rimmed out and the Orangemen hung on. The Bruins had a gigantic win on the road thanks to Aaron Holiday who scored a career high 34 points against arch rival USC. And, Texas protected their home court against #20 West Virginia, in OT, without Mo Bamba. Texas and UCLA now both seem like they will be in the tournament while Syracuse definitely helped their chances, but probably still have some work to do in Brooklyn during the ACC Tournament.
Now that we have all that out of the way lets talk about why this is the best time of the year. The first two days of March Madness are the best two days of the years in all of sports and there is no argument that will convince me otherwise. From 12:15pm E.T. until 1:30am E.T. there is 13 straight hours of non stop action. Seemingly almost every game comes down to the wire or the last possession and the excitement of watching the mid-major teams competing with the top teams in college hoops can’t be compared to any other sport. In College Football we have 41 bowl games where really only 3 of them matter, the two semifinal games and the championship. In College Basketball all 64 of the games played in March Madness matter. If a one-seed slips up against a 16-seed, then that’s it, their done. You have to treat every game as almost a “Game 7” and most people agree that the best two words in sports are just that, “Game 7”. More than ever it seems like this NCAA Tournament is about as wide open as I can remember. With championship week beginning and only 7 days until the brackets come out the only for sure thing we know about college basketball is “EXPECT THE UNEXPECTD.”
Happy March everyone! Let the Madness begin.