A day after scoring 27 points and hitting the game-winning buzzer-beater for the Crimson Tide as they knocked off Texas A&M in the second round of the SEC tournament, Collin Sexton out-did himself.
Alabama’s dynamic point guard finished with 31 points and seven boards, shooting 10-for-16 from the floor and 6-for-8 from three, as the Tide outscored in-state rival and top-seeded Auburn 50-22 in the second half of an 81-63 win.
And suddenly, an Alabama team that entered the SEC tournament having lost five straight and played their way directly onto the bubble’s cut-line looks like not only a lock for the NCAA tournament but one of the teams that you do not want to see in your region if you are a No. 2 or 3 seed.
Because that’s where they are trending right now.
As things currently stand, Alabama is probably tracking towards being a No. 11 seed that misses the play-in game. They have seven Quadrant 1 wins — including three wins against the SEC co-champs Auburn and Tennessee — and an 11-11 record against the top two Quadrants. But they also have three Quadrant 3 losses, and unless they win the SEC tournament, they are going to enter Selection Sunday with 15 losses to their name.
That’s a lot of losses, and while the selection committee hasn’t always put the most weight into how many games that a team loses during the season, it is something that has to be considered. Take, for instance, Vanderbilt last year. They were 19-15 on Selection Sunday with a handful of really nice wins and they ended up
in a play-in game as a No. 9 seed.
Alabama might be able to sneak their way into a bye, but either way, the truth is this: With the way that Sexton is playing right now and with the amount of talent that is on that roster, they are the team that all the No. 2 and 3 seeds are going to be hoping that they avoid, because they certainly have the ability and the star power to make it to the second weekend.