Alabama Crimson Tide at South Carolina Gamecocks – NCAAM February 9

No. 11 Alabama (15-5, 10-1) at South Carolina (5-7, 3-5)

  • Time: 3:30PM PST | 5:30PM CST | 6:30PM EST
  • Location: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC
  • TV: SEC Network

Opening Tip

Alabama had its 10-game SEC winning streak halted at Missouri on Saturday and has lost two out of three games dating back to a 66-61 loss on Jan. 30 at Oklahoma. South Carolina has lost five out of it’s last seven games, but won at Florida before it’s loss to Mississippi State on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide leads the series, 31-16, and has won five in a row. The Gamecocks have a 12-7 margin in Columbia and Alabama won last year’s encounter, 90-86, in Tuscaloosa.

South Carolina’s AJ Lawson is fourth in the SEC in scoring at 17.3 points per game and Jermaine Cousinard is sixth in the league in assists (3.8 apg). Lawson also leads the league in made three with 2.8 and Alabama’s John Petty is third with 2.6 made threes per game.

Vs. The Spread

Alabama:

  • The Crimson Tide is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 games
  • The UNDER has been to Alabama’s liking in 4 of the last 5
  • The Tide is 4-1 ATS in the 5 games vs. South Carolina

South Carolina:

  • The total has gone OVER in 13 of the Gamecocks’ last 18 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 13 of the last 20 Bama-SC matchups
  • The Gamecocks are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games

Last Time Out

The Crimson Tide dropped a 68-65 outing at Missouri on Saturday as Alabama trailed 58-36 with 13:05 to play. The Tide outscored the Tigers, 21-2, over a 5:02 sequence late in the game and cut the score to 66-65 before absorbing the loss. Jaden Shackelford led four Alabama players in double figures with 15 points.

The Gamecocks dropped a 75-59 decision at home to Mississippi State on Saturday as they shot only 31.1 percent from the field while the Bulldogs made 46.4 percent of their attempts. Mississippi State dominated South Carolina on the glass, 46-30 while AJ Lawson and Keyshawn Bryant netted 13 apiece for the Gamecocks.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Alabama -6 (-115) -275 O 156.5 (-105)
South Carolina +6 (-105) +230 U 156.5 (-115)

Advantage, Alabama

The excellence of the Crimson Tide lies in how well Nate Oats’ squad executes on both ends of the floor. Alabama is second in the nation in defensive efficiency, per kenpom.com, as opponents only shoot 39.9 percent from the floor while the Tide forces 15.7 turnovers per contest. Herb Jones (11.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is at the heart of the Alabama defense where he leads the Tide with 20 blocks and 35 steals. Offensively, Alabama leads the SEC in scoring in conference games with 82.5 points per game while the defense is even better inside of the SEC as opponents only make 37.7 percent of their shots.

Key Tide Stat:

A big reason that Alabama has dropped two of three is that they have struggled from the three-point line in those games. The Crimson Tide shoots 35.5 percent from three on the season; however, Alabama has shot 38.9 percent against Oklahoma and 33.3 percent vs. Missouri. Those were their two lowest shooting percentage since they shot 30% in a loss to Clemson back on Dec. 12.

X-Factor:

How you defend Alabama is a tough call because of the balance in scoring as four players averaged double figures, led by Jaden Shackelford (13.9 ppg) overall, but John Petty leads the Tide in conference play at 14.1 points per game. Herb Jones has a solid inside-outside game and has to be accounted for on the offensive glass.

Advantage, South Carolina

The Gamecocks have to force Alabama to turn the ball over and they have to connect on those to try to get easy baskets and not allow the Tide to set up it’s defense. While South Carolina turns the ball over at an alarming 16.7 times per game, the Gamecocks do force 15 per game.

Key Gamecocks Stat:

Guards AJ Lawson (18.5 ppg) and Keyshawn Bryant (17.4 ppg) average a combined 35.9 points per game in SEC outings this season as they are third behind LSU’s Trendon Watford and Cam Thomas and Vandy’s Dylan Disu and Scotty Pippen, Jr. They have to get that third consistent scorer tonight as Jermaine Cousinard (11.2 ppg, 3.8 apg) and Seventh Woods look like they’re trending with that potential. Woods has averaged 11 points per game in his last three.

X-Factor:

These two teams are two of the fastest in the nation with regard to possession length as Alabama is second at 14.5 seconds per possession while South Carolina is 22nd at 15.5. As crazy as it sounds, speeding Alabama up even more would be a plus for the Gamecocks as their shooting struggles in the half-court suggest.

Winner: Alabama (-6) 82, South Carolina 70
Over-Under: Take UNDER 156.5

The Bets
Alabama Crimson Tide -6
-115
UNDER 156.5
-115
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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