Three Things You Need to Know: SEC/Big XII Challenge – Alabama at Baylor
Alabama basketball hits the road again for their SEC/Big XII Challenge contest at Baylor.
The Crimson Tide is coming off their best performance of the season in a 74-53 win over Ole Miss while Baylor has won three in a row including an 85-73 victory at West Virginia.
Alabama has won both of their prior SEC/Big XII Challenge appearances while Baylor is 4-1 in their previous five appearances.
The Tide has a 7-1 advantage over the Bears in series history coming into the contest.
For both teams, Saturday's game concludes the non-conference portion of the 2018-2019 regular season schedule.
Before Saturday's 11 AM tipoff from Waco, Texas, find out the three things you need to know about Alabama's appearance in the SEC/Big XII Challenge.
One of Big XII's Top Forwards Out for the Season
Baylor has been able to play some of their best basketball of the season without one of the top forwards in the Big XII.
Sophomore forward Tristan Clark injured his knee during their 73-70 win over Iowa State on January 8.
Prior to the injury, Clark started 15 games and led the country with a .737 field goal percentage. For the season, the San Antonio native averages 14.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game.
Clark scored over 20 points twice this season including a 27 point effort in the Emerald Coast Classic against Ole Miss.
Baylor's Home Court Advantage
Over the past six years, going to Waco has proven to be an uphill climb for opposing teams.
Against non-conference competition, the Bears have won 58 of their last 62 home games dating back to December 2012. In the Scott Drew era, Baylor has a 123-16 record against teams from outside the Big XII.
Additionally, Baylor has taken care of business with a 32-5 record against unranked teams since 2016.
However, some signs of inconsistency have appeared this season with losses to Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin earlier this season.
Opportunity for Quadrant 1 Road Win
In recent years, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has adjusted how they select and seed the field of 68.
Beginning this season, the committee scrapped the use of the Ratings Percentage Index in favor of the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET). The NET contains five components which including margin of victory and your record against Division I teams.
The committee also utilizes a quadrant system to evaluate quality wins depending on the NET ranking of the opponent and the location of the game.
Going into Saturday's game, Alabama has a NET ranking at 41 while Baylor is 10 spots behind at 51. For the Tide, a win would add a quadrant one road victory against a NET top 75 team while a Baylor win would add a quadrant two home victory against a NET top 75 team.
A win at Baylor would also give Alabama their first road victory over a quadrant one opponent this season and their second true road win overall on the season.