ALABAMA (17-13, 7-9 SEC) vs. VANDERBILT (19-11, 8-8 SEC)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tip-off: 6:30 p.m. (CDT)
TV: Raycom Sports (Free Live Online Video Stream)
It's March and the Alabama Crimson Tide are playing better basketball than they have all year. That is not something Alabama has been able to say the last several seasons.
The Tide ride into Tampa winning four of their last five and fresh off of a thrilling buzzer-beater-victory over the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville.
Alabama will be playing Vanderbilt for the chance to face their common rival, Tennessee in a quarter-final match up in the SEC tournament. Both teams must win the conference tournament for an invite to the NCAA tournament.
The last time the Crimson Tide hit the hardwood to take on Vandy, they fell late 79-74, despite leading most of the game.
2003 was the last season that Alabama came into the SEC tournament as the No. 4 West seed and interestingly enough, faced the Commodores in a 82-69 loss.
A win by the Tide would put the team, in all likelihood, just one win away from an NIT bid. While Vanderbilt would more than likely seal a bid to the NIT with a victory over Alabama.
Overall Alabama is 56-42 in SEC tournament play. The 56 conference tournament wins rank second in the SEC only behind Kentucky. The Tide are 3-5 against Vanderbilt in SEC tournament games.