TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama men’s basketball will play its first game at the Coleman Coliseum in 11 days when the Crimson Tide hosts the state of Mississippi. The Tide enters the game this week with their highest ranking in over 20 years, #2 in the AP Top 25 poll and #2 in USA Today’s Coaches Poll.
The Alabama-Mississippi State matchup features two of the best defenses in the SEC, as Alabama is No. 3 in the nation in field goal defense percentage (.369) and the Bulldogs are No. 16 in the country (.390).
Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 8pm CT-Tipp and will air on the SEC Network with Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Mark Wise (analyst) in conversation.
The radio show can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Richard Hendrix (analyst) while Tom Stipe (engineer) turns the dials. The pregame show starts an hour before the tip.
Hints you need to know
- Alabama ranks #2 in AP Top 25 poll, highest AP ranking since 2002-03 (#1)
- Alabama is ranked #2 in USA Today’s Coaches Poll, its highest ranking since USA Today’s 1991-92 season
- Alabama became the third team in the past 50 years to start the SEC game, winning each of its first seven contests by double digits (+21.0 points ahead), beating Kentucky (1994-95) and Florida (2012-13 ) connected.
- Alabama has six Quad 1 wins this season, ranking third in the country behind Purdue and Kansas (7 wins).
- The Crimson Tide is one of five teams with an unbeaten record on the road this season, beating their opponents by a +12.5 goal margin
- The Tide is one of 10 teams and the only Power 5 team left this season with an undefeated record in conference play
- Alabama is looking to go 8-0 in the SEC game for the second time under Coach Nate Hafer (2020-21). Prior to the Oats’ arrival, the tide hadn’t started a SEC 7-0 game since the 1986–87 season.
- Alabama is 14-12 against AP top 25 teams throughout Nate Hafer‘ tenure
- Alabama has, for the first time in program history, recorded five wins against top-25 opponents in consecutive seasons, winning 10-5 over the span
- Brandon Miller averages 19.8 points per game, the most of any freshman in the country and No. 23 overall
- Miller is the only freshman in the country to rank in the top 75 in points and rebounds per game (No. 71)
- Miller is one of 11 players in Division I, the only player in the SEC and the only freshman in the country to have 375 points and 155 rebounds this season
About the state of Mississippi
- In 19 games, the Bulldogs are among the nation’s best, yielding 58.3 points per game (2nd SEC, 6th national) and 39.0 percent opponent field goal percentage (4th SEC, 16th national).
- Historically, State’s 58.3 PPG allowable is the program’s second-lowest 19-game average in modern times since 1955-56, Babe McCarthy’s inaugural season.
- The state defense limited their first 10 opponents to 60 points or less. The Bulldogs were joined in 2011-12 by Virginia as the only team in the 2000s to limit their first 10 opponents to 60 points or fewer.
- First-year head coach Chris Jans was the only men’s basketball coach at State to win his first 11 contests. The previous mark was held by EC Hayes, who finished the 1911/12 season 9-0 and won the opening game of the 1912/13 season.
- Mississippi State and Alabama boast two of the best defenses in the SEC, with Alabama being No. 3 in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.369) and the Bulldogs being No. 16 in the country (.390).
- The 186 steals and 9.8 steals per competition (2nd SEC, 11th statewide) are the second-highest total for State in 19 games since the 1979-80 season.
- In 38 halves of the season, State has allowed 25 points or fewer on 12 occasions and limited the opponent to under 30 percent shooting nine times
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