On this final weekend of the regular season, there were a handful of teams that had opportunities to take a big step towards locking up an NCAA Tournament bid. Some teams—such as Saint Louis, Memphis and Kansas State—were able to win their season finales, and pretty much ensure themselves of a spot in the Field of 68.
A few teams, however, missed on their opportunities. As a result, they now find themselves in the undesirable position of having to win one or more games in their conference tournaments.
Two such teams are Alabama and Southern Mississippi. On Saturday, both teams went down on the road to middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective leagues.
Alabama was beaten by Mississippi 60-51, in Oxford. The loss snapped the Tide’s four-game winning streak, and dropped them into fifth-place in the SEC. As a result, Alabama will have to play on the first day of the SEC Tournament next week.
Southern Miss lost at Marshall 79-75. The loss dropped USM to 11-5 in Conference USA, finishing two games behind first-place Memphis. It was also the fourth loss in eight games for the Golden Eagles, and the fourth straight on the road.
After failing to earn a road win over good, but not great competition, how does each team’s NCAA Tournament prospect now look? Here’s the case for each team.
Updated RPI/SOS Rankings from realtimerpi.com.
Alabama: 20-10, 9-7 SEC; RPI: 32, SOS: 20
Southern Miss: 23-7, 11-5 C-USA; RPI: 17, SOS: 55
Notable common opponents: Mississippi (USM beat, Alabama split against)
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