There might not be a more difficult team to project heading into the start of the college basketball season than the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Avery Johnson enters the season with the program's best lineup - on paper - in years, but there team has injury issues and eligibility questions surrounding Collin Sexton. The team appears to be in a good position to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, but it's no certainty if Sexton and Braxton Key miss significant time.

That hasn't changed the opinions of two of the sport's best bracketology experts. ESPN's Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports' Jerry Palm both have Alabama in as a 7-seed in their preseason projections.

In Lunardi's bracket, the Crimson Tide is a 7-seed in the East region with a round of 64 game against the Maryland Terrapins. The winner of that game would be matched up against the 2-seed Villanova. That would be quite a draw if it happened.

In Palm's bracket, the Crimson Tide is also a 7-seed in the East, but the first round matchup is against the Michigan Wolverines. The winner of that game would find itself facing the defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels in the round of 32.

Keep in mind that there hasn't been a single minute of college basketball played this season so it's a loose projection, but it's still good to see Alabama among the teams expected to make the Big Dance in 2018.