Mississippi State ran into the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday night in session four of the 2023 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Mississippi State could not hit the broadside of the barn on Friday afternoon. In the first half, Mississippi State shot only 23% from the field, falling behind the mighty Crimson Tide early and unable to overcome. Alabama didn’t play their best ball on Friday, but with no offensive production from Mississippi State, Alabama was too much for the Bulldogs.
Heading into the game with Alabama, Mississippi State knew they had to score the basketball today to beat Alabama. Mississippi State, as they have all season, struggled to score. It wasn’t because scoring opportunities weren’t there. Mississippi State missed several wide-open layups and failed to crash the board, Alabama took advantage of the mismatch, and Mississippi State is now on the way back to Starkville, Mississippi, where they will await to see if the Selection Committee is kind enough to the Bulldogs to allow them to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Friday was a day of missed opportunities for Mississippi State. Alabama left the door wide open for the Bulldogs to have a shot at staying in the game on Friday, but they could never walk through the door. You had Tolu Smith for Mississippi State is the only one that seemed like he wanted to be there on Friday. Tolu was going after 50/50 balls, creating opportunities for himself to score, and keeping Mississippi State within striking distance in the first half. However, if you follow basketball at all, you understand that one player can not win a game for a team. Tolu Smith did all he could, but with no help from the other guys on the roster, the task was too large for Mississippi State to overcome.
For Alabama, Nate Oats has a damn good basketball team that has the potential to win the National Championship this season. Even with the cloud hanging over the program, Alabama has found a way to win that alone is deserving of credit. Alabama came into the Mississippi State game on Friday. Knowing the Bulldogs would try to throw everything they could at them. Alabama stuck to the game plan are now on the way to compete in the 2023 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four. Brandon Miller led the way in scoring with 18 points.
Alabama will await the winner of Tennessee and Missouri on Saturday.