Thursday’s SEC showdown between two of the best college basketball teams in the country did not disappoint. No. 10 Tennessee, who came in on the heels of two heartbreaking losses, came away with a 68-59 victory over No. 1 Alabama.
The game was tied 29-29 at halftime, but the Volunteers owned the second half to beat the Crimson Tide.
No. 10 Tennessee takes down No. 1 Alabama! 🏀 pic.twitter.com/CEM8pufDef
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) February 16, 2023
In the process, history was made.
If you heard about the Volunteers defeating the Crimson Tide and felt that this season has featured an inordinate number of top-ranked teams falling, you’re not wrong. Tennessee’s win over Alabama marked the eighth time this season that the AP’s No. 1 ranked team in the country lost. That ties a record in the AP era, which goes back more than 70 years.
With Alabama's loss to Tennessee, there have now been 8 losses by AP No. 1 teams this season. That is tied for the most in a regular season in the AP Poll era with the 1993-94 season (since 1948-49). pic.twitter.com/27Y2kTOOUc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 16, 2023
What does this mean? Well, to college basketball fans, it meant multiple things.
One, with the NCAA Tournament lingering, there is no clear favorite. Two, because of that, we might see a winner from a non-major conference. Three, March Madness might be even more fun and unpredictable than usual.
No dominant team this season https://t.co/9H9dYRkhzk
— Andy Rieckhoff (@AndyOnTheAM) February 16, 2023
Cbb is mid! Wouldn’t be surprised if a mid major win it this year https://t.co/WBw4vxdUgh
— Cam 🥶 (@killacamroberts) February 16, 2023
March Madness gonna be wild this year 🤩 https://t.co/or4ggBLAhI
— mads (@phxsunz25) February 16, 2023
Crazy stat… But had a feeling Alabama was gonna choke after below average performances against Mississippi State, Oklahoma, and LSU. https://t.co/GXlGhZIojM
— Shannon Ehrhardt (@SEhrhardtKCCI) February 16, 2023
Teams don’t seem to be able to go on any sustained runs before being tripped up. It’s been an issue for multiple schools. With that, it’s definitely hard to handicap what the tournament will look like in 2023. But there doesn’t figure to be a lot of dull moments come March.
[ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter]