#5 Alabama vs. LSU
Who: Alabama; 23-6 (16-2) vs. LSU; 18-8 (11-6)
When: 12 pm CT, Sunday, March 14th, 2021.
Where: Bridgestone Arena; Nashville, TN.
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink)
Alabama vs. LSU for the SEC Tournament championship, just like everyone predicted. The Tide and Tigers will both look to end their tournament championship drought on Selection Sunday right before hearing their names called for the NCAA Tournament bracket. Alabama has not won the title since 1991. LSU’s drought is even longer with their last title being in 1980. These two teams have plenty of film on each other as they have played twice this season, each resulting in a Tide win. They always say it is hard to beat a team twice, but it is especially hard to beat one three times. LSU has a lot they can look at and learn from, and they will come out ready to go, especially playing their rival with a championship on the line. One individual who will specifically have extra motivation is LSU’s Trendon Watford. He has not gotten a win this season over his home state school, Alabama. This could be the last chance of his career, so it would not be surprising to see him have a big game. Alabama won the first meeting in Baton Rouge by 30 points and the second meeting in Tuscaloosa by 18, and both games could have been even worse for the Tigers. LSU will need to step up big time defensively if they want any chance of cutting down the nets. They rank 102nd in the country (according to TeamRankings) in effective FG% and 235th in opponent 2-point %. They also rank towards the bottom of the country in opponent attempts and makes from deep. LSU only allows opponents to shoot 30.1% from deep, which ranks 22nd nationally. This would make people think they have a huge advantage going into this game defensively, but the first meeting between these 2 schools shows that is not always the case. Alabama shot 53.5% from 3 and set the SEC record for most makes in a game. LSU defended the perimeter much better the second meeting allowing the Tide to only make 25%. If they can replicate that once again, and play better offensively than the last time, they have a chance, although that will be difficult against a tough Alabama defense. Meanwhile, Alabama showed in their game against Tennesssee even when the shots are not falling from three, they will find another way to win. Herbert Jones and Jahvon Quinerly did a little bit of everything and were able to help their team advance to the championship game.
LSU Players to Watch:
-G Cameron Thomas (22.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.4 APG)
-F Trendon Watford (16.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.2 APG)
-G Ja’Vonte Smart (15.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4 APG)
-F Darius Days (12.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 0.7 APG)
Herbert Jones and John Petty will lead Alabama to their first SEC Tournament championship in 30 years behind a another great game from deep.
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