Alabama’s disheartening home loss to Mississippi State on Saturday may have diminished its NCAA Tournament hopes. But the coach who ceased the Tide’s building momentum said not to worry.
Alabama should still make the tournament, according to Bulldogs coach Ben Howland.
“They are a team that I believe will still make the (NCAA) Tournament,” Howland said following his team’s 67-61 upset over Alabama, according to the Times Daily’s Alex Byington.
Alabama entered Saturday’s contest at Coleman Coliseum as one of the last four teams in the field, according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi. But Saturday’s loss to the Bulldogs will likely drop the Tide out of the field entering the homestretch of the regular season.
Several other college basketball analysts voiced their opinions on Alabama’s first loss in February. ESPN’s Andy Katz said he thought Alabama would find a way to right the ship and make a run in the final stages of the season.
Howland factor: Alabama just lost its momentum, loses to Mississippi State. Still like the Tide to get this straight and make a run to NCAA.
— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) February 20, 2016
Sports Illustrated pundit Seth Davis took a similarly optimistic tone with one exception. Davis noted that this loss certainly won’t help Alabama’s tournament resume.
Alabama about to lose at home to Miss St. Tide has some margin for error but don't need bad losses this time of year.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 20, 2016
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein may have hit the nail on the head. Alabama’s loss definitely stings.
Mississippi State beats Alabama at Alabama without Malik Newman. A great win for the Bulldogs and a crushing loss for the Crimson Tide.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 20, 2016