Sunday, March 4, 2007

Tide Heads to Starkville With SEC West On The Line

Alabama Travels to "The Hump" for Biggest Game of the Year

As disappointing as the season has been, it can end on a very positive note this afternoon as Alabama travels to Mississippi State to take on the Bulldogs at 1pm CT on Sunday in the regular season finale. With a win, Alabama will become co-SEC West champions with Ole Miss, who downed Auburn yesterday, and recieves a first round bye in the upcoming SEC Tournament. With a loss, Alabama will enter the SEC Tournament on Thursday as the 5th seed in the West, since Arkansas won yesterday, and play either Kentucky or Georgia in the opening round.

Not only is this game huge for positioning in the SEC standings, but Alabama also needs the win to bolster its NCAA Tournament chances. Alabama is currently 20-9 overall and 7-8 in the SEC. With a win, Alabama will bolster its chances by showing the committee it can win on the road, as the Tide's only SEC road win this season was at LSU. Mississippi State(16-12, 7-8) is led sophomore guard Jamont Gordon, who is averaging 16 ppg and 7.3 rpg. He also leads the team with 4.8 assists per game. Mississippi State is Bama’s oldest opponent in basketball, and was the first college team Alabama ever played. This will be the 177th meeting between the two teams. Alabama leads the series 110-66.

This by far the biggest game of the season for the Tide and it can make up for some of the disappointments this season with a huge road win. That said Alabama will have to play better to get it done. The Tide needed a spirited comeback against Mississippi State to win in Tuscaloosa and does not seem to match up well with the Bulldogs, particularly Jamont Gordon. I just don't have a good feeling about this game, but I really hope I'm wrong.

Nick's Prediction: Miss. St. 74 Alabama 68

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