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NCAA Basketball: Atlantic 10, Alabama, and Gonzaga vs Baylor headline Mailbag

Feb 8, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2) reacts after being fouled in the second half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2) reacts after being fouled in the second half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball Alabama Crimson Tide Herbert Jones Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball Alabama Crimson Tide Herbert Jones Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

4. What is Alabama’s ceiling and what’s their floor? – Matthew Travis (@Mjtrav627)

This question is the perfect transition from the last question. As was mentioned Alabama is slated to win the SEC going away and using the committee’s release of the top 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, the Crimson Tide are slated to be a 2 seed in the sports premier event here in a few weeks. That leads to the question of how far can Alabama go in the NCAA tournament?  Can they get hot and make a deep run or will they get upset early?

I always use the matchups to predict the tournament, which is likely why I don’t do well in any bracket pool I ever enter. However, Alabama I can say with confidence is a second-weekend team. They are one of the oldest and more experienced teams in the country and the head coach Nate Oats is likely to win the SEC coach of the year. My confidence level is high in Alabama because they pose a matchup problem for a lot of teams given what each individual piece can do.

Alabama has a potent offense most of the time as they take a make a ton of threes. When running that type of offense it doesn’t hurt when you have two of the better shooters in the conference and one of the best shooters in the country. John Petty Jr. is one of the best shooters in the country and freshman phenom Joshua Primo is a great shooter from deep and one of the better ones in the SEC conference.

Alabama also has two other natural scorers in sophomore Jaden Shackelford and Villanova transfer and Point Guard Jahvon Quinerly. Herbert Jones may be the most important player in the SEC and means so much to Alabama. He can defend every position and get extremely tough baskets. Jones is great and impacts the game so much more than scoring. Alabama has a ton of athleticism and has a mismatch everywhere.

When they get to the NCAA tournament they are likely going to overwhelm the lower-seeded teams they play because they have so many options and come at you with so many different players. The sweet 16 depending on the matchup could get a little dicey for Alabama if they are not making shots. The team has shown that if they struggle from deep and keep a team in the game, they can keep a team in a game for longer than they should be. The floor is the second weekend, but the ceiling is so much higher.

Alabama isn’t in the same realm as Gonzaga or Baylor and because of that is a longshot to win the National Championship, but if the Crimson Tide and Petty Jr, get going and make shots as they did so often in the middle of the season then Alabama could be that team who makes a surprise run to the final four. They have final four depth and talent but will they make enough shots to get there?   We will all soon find out.