TUSCALOOSA, Ala.–After a dominant win against Vanderbilt, Alabama Men’s Basketball team is on the verge of doing something that’s only been done once in their program’s history.
Head coach Nate Oats and his team have one goal in mind this season, and that is getting a national championship for this program. In the program’s history, Alabama has only gotten as far as the elite eight. They’re looking to make the first final four appearance in the history of Alabama basketball.
Alabama defeated Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, by a score of 101-44. Making their record 18-3, with an 8-0 record in conference play. This dominant win had a margin of victory of 57 points; the largest margin of victory in the school’s history. Blowouts like this are becoming a regular against SEC opponents for this team. Earlier this season they beat an underwhelming LSU team 106-66, and then beat up on The Kentucky Wildcats 78-52 which is also the teams largest win against the Wildcats, according to Ronald Evans on “FANSIDED”.
Starting the season off, The Alabama Men’s Basketball team was ranked 20th in the AP top 25 preseason poll, and now they are ranked 4th in the nation with their highest ranking being 2nd just last week. This is due to their phenomenal freshmen class and returning leadership in the form of their 4th ranked recruiting class and six returning players from last year’s team.
One of the big reasons they jumped to the second spot in the AP poll was due to their two wins against separate number one overall teams, According to “The Comeback”. Alabama is only the fourth team in NCAA history to take down two teams that were ranked the number one spot in the same season. The first win came earlier in the season against a formidable UNC team, where they won 103-101 in a four overtime thriller. The second win came later on in the season where they played at Houston where they won 71-65 in an exhilarating 15 point comeback win.
Even after a rough game against The Oklahoma Sooners where they lost 93-69, which promptly dropped them from two to four on the recent AP poll, this team is still looking to take over the number one overall national ranking for only the second time in schools history since 2003.
The season is not quite over which means there are more records to be broken. The most successful team in program’s history was back in 1986 where they won 28 games, only losing 5, with a conference record of 16-2. With nine games left, this team has an opportunity to be better and go further but not all of them will be cake walks like past games. The marquee matchups the team has left are number two ranked Tennessee away, a fully healthy Arkansas team at home, and we can never overlook the number twenty-five ranked Auburn, also away.
Even though there are difficult games to be played, the Tide can continue to build upon their resume during the SEC Tournament which begins March 8th . Winning the tournament will guarantee a high placement in the NCAA (March Madness) Tournament, where Bama will set its eyes on Houston.