Why Crimson Tide Can Beat Kentucky

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Alabama Basketball may defeat Kentucky on Friday. This statement contradicts what every college basketball expert believes, but it is the attitude that Nate Oats ’team must have to bring down the Cats.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the game doesn’t matter to Kentucky. In the state of blueberries, failing to win an SEC tournament is a serious sin. The Cats have won 31 championships, and each one matters. Crimson Tide ranks second among SEC teams with seven SEC Tournament championships. Alabama won the Wildcats for one of seven – in Lexington, back in 1982.

Cats will also use the SEC tournament as an opportunity to move from the currently projected NCAA tournament from 2nd seed to 1st seed. Unlike the last game, John Calipari will also have a full group of regular players.

Because of these circumstances and because the Cats are a more talented team, they are likely to be devastated on Friday. But the Purple Tide can cause frustration, and for several reasons.

Reasons why Alabama basketball wins the Wildcats

  • The Wildcats, led by Kelan Grady, scored 64.3% of the three, beating Tide 90-81 in Lexington. Kellen Grady will not shoot 77.8% from outside the arc in Tampa.
  • Alabama will not make 40 3-point shots like it did in Lexington. He will shoot a lot of threes, but getting to the rim will be a priority. Too much reliance on perimeter shooting contributed to Tide shooting only nine fouls in Lexington.
  • Oscar Trzybwe is a great player. He is selfless and does not force arrows. Charles Bediac has shown that he can disturb Tibwe with the threat of blocked strikes. There are two big “ifs” – if Bediac can block a couple of throws earlier and not get in trouble without trying to block everything next to him.
  • Alabama will not repeat the turnaround it has had in five of its last seven games.
  • Yahwon Quinerley and Jaden Shackleford should be hot in one game. When both hit threes, the rest of the Tide attack proceeds better and more productively.

Admittedly, of the five keys to “Tade” defeating the Cats, probably four are important. Alabama has to play one of the best games of the season to win. It is capable of this.

Crimson Tide’s average performance will not be close enough to defeat the statistically superior Wildcats. Based on the SEC games alone, Kentucky is a much better defensive team; the best overall shooting team; the best team shooting with 3 points. They also better protect a three-point throw and fewer turns for possession.

Alabama has a slight statistical advantage in bounce percentage in attack and free throws.

Note: Team and player statistics from sports-reference.com and rolltide.com.

On Thursday night, Crimson Tide has its first game job against Vanderbilt before it can move on to play in Kentucky.

Why Crimson Tide Can Beat Kentucky

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