Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tide sleep walks to loss in Oxford

For years Alabama has struggled to win basketball games against Ole Miss in Oxford. Whatever the reason, not ready to play, worst arena in the SEC, 3 hour bus trips, half full arena or in the rare circumstance, a good Ole Miss team, 'Bama rarely wins there.

How bad was it? The football team scored 52 points there compared to the 51 by 'Bama Hoops including a colossal 17 first half points.

But despite how poorly 'Bama played, they were still right in the game and had opportunities to make it a 1 possession game several times up to the last 2 minutes, only to proceed to turn the ball right over. No one play demonstrated this more then Rodney Cooper's steal in the final minutes but over threw a wide open Ben Eblen that would have made it a 55-52 game with under 2:00 left.

The simple truth about Alabama is that they did not play well. They shot poorly, missed front ends of 1 and 1's, only forced 7 turnovers and were severely hurt on offensive rebounds by an athletic Ole Miss team. Having watched the Rebels beat Arkansas on Tuesday and win on Saturday, you have to wonder why they are not better then 18-12.

Simple truth about Alabama is that if their not forcing turnovers and getting out in transition, they still have a hard time scoring. The Auburn game the other night was the same way as yesterday's game. Seven Rebel turnovers and 0 points off of them for the Tide.

Of course, the officiating led by head referee Doug Shows did not help matters as their was no consistency on either end. Guys were getting pounded on the floor in some instances while moments later the most questionable of touch fouls were being called. Ole Miss paraded to the foul line 34 times as this was a replay of the Kentucky game which was officiated by Doug Shows again, as was last Saturday's Miss State game. No coincidence that every 50/50 call in those games went against 'Bama, I guess.

Now its on to NOLA for the SEC Tournament and 'Bama is now a 5 seed and will try to avenge its worst loss of the year vs South Carolina. This is a must win game, as 'Bama can't afford to have 2 losses to the worst team in the SEC on its resume. A win will now have them face Florida, Vandy or UT before a semi final showdown with Big Blue. Could be a short stay in the French quarter, but let's hope not.

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