Bama Jumps in Latest AP Poll, Has Chance to Clinch SEC Wednesday
In Monday’s latest AP poll for the top 25 college basketball teams in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide (18-5, 13-1) jumped two spots to No. 6, the team's highest AP ranking since December 2006. Along with Bama’s slight win on Saturday against Vanderbilt, the Crimson Tide were surely helped out by No. 3 Michigan’s Sunday victory over No. 4 Ohio State, No. 6 Houston’s Thursday loss to Wichita State, and No. 7 Virginia’s loss to an unranked Duke team on Saturday.
Proving that this is one of the most successful Alabama teams in recent history, the Crimson Tide has now resided in the top 15 for five straight weeks and the top 10 for the last two polls.
With only three games left in the regular season, Alabama has the potential to win 16 SEC games for the first time since the 1986-87 Alabama team, led by legendary coach Wimp Sanderson. This is the first time since that team that Bama has won more than 12 conference matchups.
Alabama will travel to Fayetteville for a game against No. 20 Arkansas on Wednesday with a chance to clinch at least a share of the SEC regular-season title. This game with the Razorbacks won’t be a walk in the park for Alabama, though.
Arkansas has won four straight, including No. 24 Mizzou, who gave Alabama their first SEC loss. Historically, the Crimson Tide hasn’t performed well in Fayetteville. ‘Bama has lost to Arkansas the last four times that the two teams have played in Fayetteville, dating back to the 2013-14 season.
With that being said, Alabama beat the Razorbacks earlier this season by 31 points in Tuscaloosa.
Later in the week, ‘Bama will continue their road trip with a stop in Starkville on Saturday to take on Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide will close out their regular season with an “Iron Bowl of Basketball” in Tuscaloosa next Tuesday against Auburn.
With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, these next three games are crucial for a high seed in March Madness.
The game against No. 20 Arkansas, which tips off at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, can be heard locally on 95.3 The Bear, as well as the other two remaining games.