The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Arkansas Razorbacks face off Thursday night in a game that will determine the NCAA tournament fate for one team. Both teams are 12-7 and already skirting the edges of becoming a potential tournament team.
Alabama is coming off of a tough one-point loss in Knoxville against the Tennessee Volunteers after two straight impressive wins over the Texas A&M Aggies and the Kentucky Wildcats. The Crimson Tide also have a good win over Villanova in non-conference play, but have suffered some tough losses including a 53-50 loss to Tulane. Alabama has to get it together, as the season is drawing closer to March and each loss takes them further away from the tournament. However, Alabama has one of the most talented duos in the country in Trevor Lacy and Trevor Releford and will still put up a fight in the SEC.
Arkansas is a tale of two teams. On one hand, Arkansas can fight hard against Syracuse and Michigan; on the other, Arkansas can get dismantled by South Carolina. The Razorbacks are in a period of rebuilding, but need a marquee win. Alabama could be that win and this young talented Arkansas team knows it.
Neither team has that impressive of a resume. The only hope for either team is to win against all SEC teams that might have a chance of making it to the tournament – meaning that the loser of this one will not make the tournament, and the winner will still have a long way to go.