SEC vs. American conference here as the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Wichita State Shockers on the final day of the Charleston Classic Tournament. Wichita has struggled a bit this year, but got their first win of the tournament yesterday against App State. Alabama has also struggled a bit, and both sides could really use a win here.
Alabama up and down
Alabama has been up and down this year. They had a strong 2017 season, but are replacing the heart and soul of last year’s team, Colin Sexton. Sexton once famously nearly brought Alabama back into a game where they were playing with three players, and it’s a tough task to replace him. As such, Alabama has struggled a bit this year, especially on offense. They nearly lost to Appalachian State in the first round of this tournament, then got blown out by Northeastern in their second. Finally, they beatdown Ball State by 18 to get things back on track.
First look at Alabama Basketball True Freshman Kira Lewis
— BamaInsider.com (@bamainsider) September 26, 2018
While many have been quick to write off Alabama, the results aren’t as bad as they might seem. Northeastern has a very good team, and Appalachian State is pretty underrated as well. Alabama is a very physical team, and likes to press a ton. They rely on their defense, and their athleticism should serve them well on the final day of this tournament by preventing them from getting tired. Their press should also have some success here against this very inexperienced Wichita team, which won’t be prepared to handle it.
Down Year For Wichita
I think this is going to be a pretty disappointing year for Wichita State fans. The program is used to being one of the best in the nation, but should take a step back here. They lost almost all of their production from last year, including Landry Shamet who was first round pick of the 76ers. All told they’re without each of their four leading scorers, and the only real contributor they return is senior Markis McDuffie, who only played 19 minutes per game last year.
They’re playing a ton of freshman and transfers, and there’s no continuity from last year’s team which got a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They’re still clearly working the kinks out, and lost an ugly game to Davidson in their first round of this tournament. They then barely beat Appalachian State the other day, and their young team could struggle with this smothering Alabama defense. Overall, it looks like a rebuilding year for the Shockers, and I don’t think they’ll be back in the big dance this year.
- 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love Alabama here. Wichita is much younger and much less athletic, so I think they’re more likely to wear down on the final day of this tournament. Alabama’s defense will allow them to win this game easily, and I think they should cruise here. Taking them is a no-brainer.
Prediction: Alabama -3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the under a lot here. I’ll be betting the under in a lot of Alabama games this year, as they play incredibly tight intense defense, but struggle to shoot the ball. A lot of their games will be scrappy low scoring affairs, and I expect one here.