Talk of the Tide: The Stars Are Aligning for Alabama Basketball

Thanks to incredible balance and a favorable schedule the rest of the way, the Crimson Tide could win its first SEC regular season title since 2002
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It's been hard to find the words to describe the magical run that the University of Alabama men's basketball program is on right now. 

Not even halfway through the Southeastern Conference schedule and the Crimson Tide has a two-game lead on first place with an unblemished record of 7-0 and 12-3 overall. 

While it isn't necessarily surprising for the people who have followed this team closely, it's just downright absurd the product coach Nate Oats and company are putting on the court. 

In its first seven conference games, Alabama has outscored No. 7 Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Kentucky, and Arkansas by a total of 126 points. 

All of those teams were picked to finish in the top half of the SEC in the preseason media poll, with the exception of the Rebels who were picked to finish ninth. 

Don't kid yourself.

When you first saw the schedule, no one in their right mind though the Crimson Tide would get through that gauntlet unscathed. Best case scenario at that time was 5-2, maybe. 

Or how about the fact that guard Jahvon Quinerly missed three games in that stretch and the team didn't miss a beat? What about  Jordan Bruner tearing his meniscus and Alabama then went on to steamroll LSU and Arkansas by a combined 61 points without him?

The offensive production from three-point range is remarkably stunning from the Crimson Tide — 92 triples across seven league games, which is an average of 13 each time out. 

I mean, just look at the shot chart against LSU from Tuesday night's historic 23 three-pointer outing:

This is modern basketball at its finest, either a three-pointer or layup. No mid-range jumpers and keeping two-point shot attempts at a minimum. 

KenPom ranks Alabama's offensive efficiency 11th best in the country. It only finished once in the top 50 in the last 16 years. 

Yes, the offensive output is outstanding and we all saw something similar in Oats' first year but why the time is right for Alabama to put a strangle hold on the SEC over the next month or so is because the Crimson Tide have exceptional balance. 

Alabama is holding opponents to just above 40 percent from the field and 29 percent from three-point range, which is good for third and second best in the SEC, respectively. 

KenPom's defensive efficiency rating has Alabama 13th best in the nation. 

No national champion since 2002 has finished outside the top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. So, history is on the Crimson Tide's side. 

Lastly, Alabama has arguably the easiest schedule in the conference remaining after the wringer that was its first seven contests — Mississippi State twice, Kentucky, at Oklahoma, LSU, at No. 19 Missouri, at South Carolina, Georgia, at Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, at Arkansas, then Auburn. 

The Crimson Tide will be favored in all those contests outside of its trip to Columbia, Mo. 

Say Alabama goes 8-4 the rest of the way, a final record of 14-4 in league play should give the Crimson Tide its first SEC regular season title since 2002. 

BamaCentral's own Tyler Martin breaks it all down in this week's Talk of the Tide.