Coming off two consecutive wins, the Alabama Crimson Tide (15-12, 5-8 SEC) could be putting themselves in a position to make it back to postseason play after missing out on the NCAA and the NIT tournaments in 2007.
With the leadership of Senior Alonzo Gee, the Tide have put a much improved product on the floor their last two times out—something definitely reflected in the results. A thrilling double overtime victory over rival Mississippi State and a dominating 21-point win over Arkansas showed the Tide at their best.
The Tide looked as impressive as a Top 10 team during the first half of the Arkansas game, putting up 49 points while holding the Hogs to just 23 points. Alabama would go on to win 88-67, with the Tide leading by 30 for most of the second half.
This new and improved Alabama squad, led by interim head coach Philip Pearson, heads to Oxford, Mississippi on Saturday to try to collect their third straight win and first conference road win in nearly two years when they take on Ole Miss (15-12, 6-7 SEC).
If history is any indication though, a win at the "Tad Pad" will not come easily for the Tide. Alabama was 1-9 under Mark Gottfried at the Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford.
However, if the Tide can pull out a rare win in Oxford, finishing the season with a .500 SEC record would become much more realistic.
After the trip to Oxford, Alabama finishes the season with two nationally televised games. The Tide faces Auburn in Tuscaloosa next Tuesday on ESPN and then travels to Knoxville to play Tennessee on CBS a week from Saturday.
If the Crimson Tide can win their final three games, they will be a prime candidate for the NIT. For those Bama fans that started dreaming about the NCAA tournament during the Tide's dismantling of Arkansas, the only real chance Alabama has of making the big dance is winning the SEC Tournament in Tampa.
While the Tide has been through a lot of adversity this season, if they continue their improved play, they will make some noise in these last few weeks.