By: Zach Gaines
–TUSCALOOSA, Al. – The Alabama Crimson Tide (13-6) look to face-off against an awfully familiar SEC opponent, the Georgia Bulldogs (5-14), in a critical game this Tuesday at 5:30 CT in Athens.
The Crimson Tide are coming off of a two-game home-stand in which they defeated the No. 12 ranked LSU Tigers 70-67, and the unranked Missouri Tigers 86-76. The Crimson Tide are looking to carry their momentum into a tough schedule ahead where they will be facing No. 4 Baylor, No. 1 Auburn, and No. 12 Kentucky.
The Bulldogs enter this game as the only team in the SEC without a conference win. They have lost the last eight consecutive games, with six of the losses coming from conference play. Alabama however, is 4-3 in conference play with wins in their past two SEC games. The Bulldogs are going to come out hungry, and Nate Oats and his staff are very well aware of that.
“They’re going to win a game here soon against somebody they’re not picked to win it against,” says Alabama head coach Nate Oats. “We’ve shown we are capable of being upset with our lack of effort on the defensive end at times”.
This season, when games have not been played at Coleman, Alabama has struggled immensely. Their only win came against Florida, after a great comeback in the second half. If Alabama wants to start proving themselves on the road, then they must first start by winning in Georgia.
Three keys necessary to the Crimson Tide securing a victory include crashing the offensive and defensive boards, getting points through the paint, and forcing the Bulldogs to score from the perimeter. Based purely on matchups, expect big games by the non-guards, Charles Bediako, and possibly even Darius Miles.
This should be a game where Alabama dominates on both sides of the ball, but with how the Tide have been playing this season, anything can happen. If Alabama comes right out of the gates performing as they should, it’s going to be a rough day at the office for Tom Crean and the Bulldogs. The Tide hope to have learned their lessons from the past and easily put Georgia away.