With a full slate of SEC Men’s basketball games this weekend, a few stand out from the rest. In particular, the No. 25 Alabama Crimson Tide traveling to face the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats sticks out. On one side, the Crimson Tide look to stabilize their up-and-down season before the SEC tournament. While on the other hand, the Wildcats look to continue to improve their already stellar season.
Alabama Looking for Big Win
Coming into the weekend, Alabama sits at the end of the AP Top 25 polls as the 25h ranked team in the nation. Having been ranked 15th at one point in the season, Alabama is looking to solidify themselves as a Top 25 team in the NCAA. Since the start of 2022, the Crimson Tide are 7-6, one of those six loses to Kentucky. However, two of those wins have come against teams ranked fourth and thirteenth at the time of the games. As the Crimson Tide approach the final five games of their regular season, they will be looking to lean on junior guard, Jaden Shackelford. Shackelford’s 17.1 points per game is the fourth best scoring average in the SEC.
Kentucky Looks to Roll Over Tide
On the other side of the matchup, the Kentucky Wildcats look to continue their impressive season. Sitting at 21-5 and in second place in the SEC, Kentucky just has to stay consistent. Coming off of a 76-63 loss to the 16th ranked Tennessee Volunteers, the Wildcats cannot afford another loss if they want to stay in the Top 5. Kentucky’s loss to Tennessee was the teams first loss in almost a month, having rolled other most of the opponents in that span. With the SEC tournament on the horizon, Kentucky will look to potential Naismith player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe to continue to lead their team. Tshiebwe leads the team in four of the five major statistical categories.
Alabama and Kentucky’s History
Last time Alabama and Kentucky faced each other, Kentucky came out victories 66-55. Historically, Kentucky leads Alabama in this matchup having won 87 of the 119 games the two teams have played. With this, Alabama will be looking to change the narrative surrounding this matchup’s history and cement itself in the Top 25 before the regular season ends. As for Kentucky, they will look to continue its journey to locking in a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.