Photo by Hannah Saad from The Crimson White
By Kathryn Gibralter
The Crimson Tide earned themselves a bypass into the quarterfinals game of the SEC Tournament in Nashville and were waiting to see who they would play. Kentucky and Mississippi State were battling it out for a chance to play the number one seed in Alabama, and it was a close game. The Bulldogs came away with a one-point win margin and the Tide saddled up for showtime.
What the Crimson Tide lack in size, they make up for in speed, considering they’re the fastest offensive team in college basketball. They’re primarily known for their defense, ranking third in the nation, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make their opponent pay when it comes to offense. Alabama is exceptional from the arch, and they showed Mississippi State, what giving them some room to play looked like off the tip-off.
A Herb Jones drive drew multiple defenders into the paint, and a swift kick out to Jaden Shackleford at the top left side of the key gave the guard plenty of space to sink a three straight through the middle of the net. It would be the first of many threes, and they were just getting started.
A minimal run by Mississippi State allowed them a 4-3 lead, but it would be the only time the Tide allowed them to get ahead. Alabama then pieced together a few runs and pulled away with a 47-19 lead at the half, which is the largest halftime lead in an SEC Tournament game since 1979.
With just a little more than halfway through the second half to go, Joshua Primo injured his knee diving for a loose ball, when Mississippi States Iverson Molinar landed on him. He was immediately escorted back to the locker room, with people under either arm to support his weight, hopping a little as he went and trying to keep his leg off the ground. It was determined that he would be getting an MRI to detect how bad his injury is what exactly happened to him.
With Primo injured, the Tide has some fire to fuel and bounced back, dismantling the Bulldogs defense with yet another run. It seemed that Mississippi State was too comfortable giving any of the Tide’s guards room to shoot, and Alabama was capitalizing left and right from the three-point line. They ended up making 13 of 36 from the arch.
Alabama came away with the game 85-48, which is the biggest victory margin the Tide has won in SEC Tournament history. They will prepare to play the Tennessee Volunteers in the semi-final game.