Who: Alabama (16-15) (8-10) vs. Tennessee (17-14) (9-9)
When: Thursday, March 12th, 2020.
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN.
Available to watch on SEC Network
Listen on The Crimson Tide Sports Network.
Last month, Alabama and Tennessee met for their only meeting of the season in Tuscaloosa. Alabama was without Herbert Jones and it was obvious from the start that it was going to be a long night for the Tide. Alabama fought but couldn’t pull out a win as they lost 68-69 against the Vols. Fast forward a month later, and the two meet again with any last remaining NCAA tourney hopes on the line in the second round of the SEC tourney. This time, the Tide will have Herb and he may be able to play without a cast for the first time in awhile. Going into this game, Alabama is still the third highest scoring team in the country with 82 PPG (according to TeamRankings). Tennessee is one of the lowest scoring teams with only 67.1 PPG. Both teams shoot an almost identical % with both being slightly over 43% from the field. Alabama has the advantage offensively all around, including from 3, where they shoot 34.9% compared to the Vols’ 31.3%. Alabama statistically is the better rebounding team, but Tennessee plays at a much slower pace (11 possessions less per game) than Bama, so that gives them less opportunities. The advantage Tennessee has is on the defensive side where they’re holding their opponents to 64.2 PPG on 40.2% shooting. Meanwhile, Alabama is giving up 79 PPG on 42.5% shooting, which is statistically one of the worst defenses in the country (although Alabama’s pace allows for more opponent PPG). One stat to keep an eye on is the turnovers. Neither team takes care of the ball, but Tennessee averages about one less per game than Alabama does.
Key Players to Watch:
F John Fulkerson (13.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.3 APG)
G Jordan Bowden (13.7 PPG, 4 RPG, 2.7 APG)
G Yves Pons (10.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.1 APG)
Alabama will come out flat at first in front of an empty arena (no fans due to SEC ruling on the Coronavirus) but will eventually start taking care of the ball and hitting their shots in the second half. Herbert Jones has a big game along with Kira Lewis Jr. Shack and Petty also combine to produce enough offensively to get a close win.
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