How to watch: Alabama vs. Texas A in the SEC Tournament final
Alabama basketball will have the opportunity to add another piece of hardware to its historic season. After claiming a program-record 28th win during Saturday’s SEC Tournament semifinal against Missouri, the Crimson Tide can take home its second conference title in three years Sunday as it takes on Texas A&M.
Top-seeded Alabama advanced to the final by blowing out Mississippi State, 72-49, Friday before coming alive in the second half to down Missouri, 72-61. Meanwhile, No. 2 seed Texas A&M notched wins over Arkansas (67-61) and Vanderbilt (87-75) to punch its ticket to the title game.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
How to watch
Who: No. 4 Alabama (28-5) vs. No. 18 Texas A&M (25-8)
When: Noon CT, Sunday, March 12
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Watch: ESPN (play-by-play: Karl Ravech; analyst: Dick Vitale; sideline: Marty Smith)
Listen: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink; engineer Tom Stipe)
Alabama’s projected starters
Jahvon Quinerly: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, senior
Stats: 7.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.8 apg, 37.8% FG, 33.3% 3-pt
Mark Sears: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, junior
Stats: 12.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 40.9% FG, 35.3% 3-pt
Brandon Miller: 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, freshman
Stats: 19.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 45.9% FG, 40.7% 3-pt
Noah Clowney: 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, freshman
Stats: 10.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 49.1% FG, 27.8% 3-pt
Charles Bediako: 7-foot, 225 pounds, sophomore
Stats: 6.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 65.4% FG
Texas A&M’s projected starting lineup
Wade Taylor IV: 6-foot, 185 pounds, sophomore
Stats: 16.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.0 apg, 41.0% FG, 36.5% 3-pt
Tyrece Radford: 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, senior
Stats: 13.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 39.5% FG, 32.2% 3-pt
Dexter Dennis: 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, senior
Stats: 9.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 39.3% FG, 29.6% 3-pt
Henry Coleman III: 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, junior
Stats: 9.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 54.0% FG
Julius Marble: 6-foot-9, 245 pounds, junior
Stats: 9.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.4 apg, 53.1% FG
A chance at redemption
After Saturday’s semifinal win over Missouri, Alabama claimed it didn’t care who it played in Sunday’s final. However, deep down the Crimson Tide was hoping for a chance for revenge against the Aggies
Texas A&M handed Alabama its last loss, beating the Tide 67-61 in College Station during the regular-season finale earlier this month. During that game, Alabama shot just 33.8% from the floor, including 19.4% (7 of 36) from deep. It also turned the ball over 18 times and allowed Texas A&M to live at the free-throw line where it converted 27 of 28 attempts.
“I would like to see A&M again because they’re one of our two [SEC] losses, and we lost to them in a close one,” said freshman guard Rylan Griffen, a Dallas native. “So I would like to have the opportunity to play them again and have a chance to go out there and beat them since we lost to them the first time.”
Since taking over Alabama in the 2019-20 season, Oats is 0-3 against the Aggies. Texas A&M recorded a 74-68 victory inside Coleman Coliseum during his first year while the Crimson Tide’s road game the following season was canceled due to weather. Last season, Texas A&M beat Alabama 87-71 in Tuscaloosa.
“They’re good,” Oats said. “They’re tough, they cause problems.
Stopping Texas A&M centers around slowing down sophomore guard Wade Taylor the IV. The All-SEC first-teamer has scored 20 or more points in seven of his last 10 games, including a career-high 28 points during the Aggies’ win over the Crimson Tide earlier this month.
During his previous meeting against Alabama, Taylor was 8 of 15 from the floor, including 2 of 7 from deep. He also got to the line 10 times, making all of his free-throw attempts. The 6-foot, 185-pound Dallas native is averaging 16.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 41.0% from the floor and 36.5% from deep this season. He also leads the SEC with an 87.2 free-throw percentage
Taylor is part of a trio of talented guards for Texas A&M along with Tyrece Radford and Dexter Dennis. Radford had 21 points during the win against Alabama and is averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the Aggies. Dennis is Texas A&M’s leader in rebounding (5.7 per game) and blocks (0.6 per game) and is also averaging 9.0 points.
— Alabama has won a program-record 28 games, surpassing the 2001-02 team for most victories in a single season.
— Brandon Miller set the program record for most points scored in a freshman season, surpassing Collin Sexton’s mark of 632 points in the 2017-18 season. Miller has 645 points through 33 games. Reggie King holds Alabama’s overall single-season scoring record with 747 points over 33 games during his senior campaign in 1978-79.
— Miller’s 99 made 3s this season rank fourth on Alabama’s single-season list, 14 away from the Eric Washingtons mark of 113 set in 1995-96.
— Nate Oats’ record in the SEC Tournament is 5-1 with a winning percentage of .833, which is the second highest since 1979, behind Rick Pitino (17-1, .944)
— Oats joins C.M. Newton as the only two Alabama head coaches that have led UA to multiple SEC regular-season championships.
— Alabama is 15-16 against AP Top 25 teams during Oats’ tenure