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Men’s Basketball Preview: South Carolina vs. #2 Alabama

Can the Cocks roll over the Tide?

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina vs. Alabama
Date: Wednesday, February 22nd
Time: 9:00 PM
Channel: ESPN2
Where: Colonial Life Arena - Columbia, SC

South Carolina is looking to pick up their second win in a row over the #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama currently holds a 23-4 record, and are ranked 2nd in KenPom’s latest advanced metric rankings to go along with their #2 ranking in the AP Poll.

This Alabama team is obviously a huge question mark now that the availability of Brandon Miller is in jeopardy after the recent news of Miller being involved in the murder incident at Alabama. Miller was having a phenomenal season for the Crimson Tide, averaging a team high of 18.7 points as well as grabbing 8 rebounds a night. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the projected lottery pick take the floor tonight, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to not see him.

Noah Clowney is also a huge part of the Crimson Tide’s success this season. The projected first round pick is averaging 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block per game. Clowney is no stranger to playing in South Carolina, as he attended Dorman High School in Roebuck, SC. Clowney even won a state championship with Dorman inside of Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks will have to contain Clowney in order to take home a victory tonight.

GG Jackson needs to play like his normal self if South Carolina even wants to sniff a victory tonight. While Jackson does tend to be quite inefficient, his inefficient 20 point games are ten times better than his 2 point, 1-7 shooting performances. I expect Jackson to remain in the starting lineup for tonight’s game, and if not, it will definitely raise some eyebrows.

Jacobi Wright has been playing at tremendously higher level in his last few games. Over Wright’s last four games, he is averaging 12.7 points per game, which is more than double his average prior to that stretch of games. Wright has been crucial is the last couple of Gamecock wins, and I expect him step up just as much tonight.

KenPom is giving the Gamecocks a 4% chance to take down the #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide with a score prediction of South Carolina 63, Alabama 83

My Prediction: South Carolina 71, Alabama 86