Alabama entered its game with Kentucky averaging roughly 65 field goal attempts per contest, nearly half of them coming from beyond the arc. And that's what made Tuesday night's 70-59 victory over John Calipari's Wildcats notable. Nate Oats' team finished with just 51 field goal attempts. They only took 20 3-pointers. They only made six of them. So this was an unusual and sub-par offensive performance from the Crimson Tide. And yet they still won by double-digits to extend their winning streak to 10 games.
"We only got 20 3s up, which is obviously not how we usually play," Oats said. "But we figured out a way to win the game with defensive rebounding."
And with defense in general.
The Crimson Tide allowed Kentucky to shoot just 35.2% from the field while turning the Wildcats over 17 times. It was good enough to improve their adjusted defensive efficiency rating that now ranks eighth nationally, and it was the latest bit of evidence that shows Alabama is capable of winning different ways. Last Tuesday, the Crimson Tide made a SEC-record 23 3-pointers in a 30-point blowout of LSU. A week later, they made just six shots from beyond the arc but still beat Kentucky by double-digits because they're great enough defensively to win even when they're not clicking offensively.
Simply put, it's impressive stuff.
And do you realize Alabama is running away with the SEC? The Crimson Tide is now 14-3 overall and 9-0 in the SEC. They have a three-game lead in the loss column of the league standings over LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Missouri. So, at this point, the question isn't whether Alabama will win its first SEC regular-season title since 2002 as much as it's whether Alabama will win the SEC by four or five games.
Alabama is No. 9 in Wednesday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Crimson Tide's next scheduled game is Saturday at Oklahoma, which spent Tuesday night upsetting a Texas team that was missing three of its top eight players and head coach Shaka Smart.
Wednesday's Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Gonzaga's perfect record includes double-digit victories over Iowa, Virginia and Kansas. The Zags have recorded a national-best six Quadrant 1 wins.||--||22-0|
|Baylor's perfect record is highlighted by victories over Kansas, Texas Tech and Illinois. The Bears have won 12 of their 14 games by double-digits.||--||18-0|
|Villanova is 2-0 with wins over Seton Hall and Providence since returning from a COVID-19 pause. The Wildcats will take an eight-game winning streak into Thursday's game at UConn.||--||15-3|
|Michigan is 8-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue. The Wolverines' lone loss came at Minnesota.||--||16-1|
|Houston is 6-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit victories over Texas Tech and SMU. The Cougars will take a six-game winning streak into Thursday's game with Tulane.||1||18-3|
|Texas was missing three of its top eight players, and coach Shaka Smart, in Tuesday's loss to Oklahoma because of COVID-19 issues. The Longhorns are 6-3 in the first two quadrants with all three losses coming in the first quadrant.||1||14-6|
|Iowa's five-game winning streak was snapped Thursday by Indiana. The loss dropped the Hawkeyes' record in the first two quadrants to 7-3.||--||17-6|
|West Virginia added a third Quadrant 1 win Monday via a final-minute victory over Texas Tech. All four of the Mountaineers' losses have come in the first quadrant.||--||16-6|
|Alabama's 10-game winning streak is highlighted by double-digit wins over Florida, Arkansas, LSU and Kentucky. The Crimson Tide is alone atop the SEC standings with a three-game lead in the loss column.||--||18-6|
|Virginia's seven-game winning streak is highlighted by double-digit wins over Syracuse and Clemson. The Cavaliers are alone atop the ACC standings with a one-game lead in the loss column over Florida State.||--||15-6|
|Ohio State's win at Wisconsin on Saturday was its fourth Quadrant 1 victory. The Buckeyes have zero losses outside of the first quadrant.||--||18-5|
|Texas Tech's resume is highlighted by a road win at Texas. Three of the Red Raiders' five losses are to teams ahead of them in the Top 25 And 1.||--||14-8|
|Missouri's body of work is highlighted by five Quadrant 1 wins - among them victories over Illinois, Tennessee and Oregon. The only team with more Quadrant 1 wins is Gonzaga.||--||14-7|
|Wisconsin's double-digit loss at home to Ohio State on Saturday dropped the Badgers to 6-3 in the Big Ten. They are 2-2 in Quadrant 1 opportunities.||--||16-8|
|Kansas fell to 6-5 in the first two quadrants after Saturday's loss at Oklahoma. The Jayhawks will take a three-game losing streak into Thursday's game with TCU.||--||17-8|
|Florida State is 2-1 in Quadrant 1 opportunities with wins over Louisville and Florida. The Seminoles will take a four-game winning streak into Wednesday's game with Miami.||1||14-3|
|Illinois owns four Quadrant 1 victories -- among them wins over Minnesota and Purdue. Four of the Illini's five losses qualify as Quadrant 1 defeats.||1||16-6|
|Creighton's win over UConn on Saturday snapped a two-game losing streak. The Bluejays' resume also includes victories over Xavier and Seton Hall.||1||17-5|
|Tennessee has two Quadrant 1 victories -- specifically wins over Missouri and Colorado. All three of the Vols' losses have come inside the first quadrant.||1||16-6|
|Oklahoma's four-game winning streak includes victories over Texas and Kansas. All four of the Sooners' losses have come inside the first quadrant.||4||14-6|
|Minnesota is 4-4 in Quadrant 1 opportunities (with one loss outside of the first quadrant) after Saturday's loss to Maryland. The Golden Gophers are 1-3 in their past four games.||--||13-10|
|UCLA's seven-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Stanford. The Bruins remain atop the Pac-12 standings with an 8-1 league record.||--||16-5|
|Louisville snapped a two-game losing streak Saturday with a victory over Duke. The Cardinals also own wins over Seton Hall, Virginia Tech and Kentucky.||--||12-5|
|Boise State has won 13 consecutive games since a season-opening loss to Houston. Eleven of those wins have come by double-digits.||1||18-4|
|Purdue's body of work includes three Quadrant 1 wins - among them victories over Ohio State and Indiana. Five of the Boilermakers' six losses are inside the first quadrant.||1||15-8|
|North Carolina is 6-1 in its past seven games with victories over Syracuse, NC State and Pitt. The Tar Heels will take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Clemson.||NR||14-8|