Alabama basketball clinches first SEC regular-season title since 2002 with win vs Mississippi State

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Alabama clinched its first SEC regular-season basketball championship since 2002 on Saturday with a 64-59 win at Mississippi State. 

The Alabama victory was its 14th SEC win of the season. The Crimson Tide can finish no worse than 14-4, while second-place Arkansas, which defeated LSU on Saturday, can finish no better than 13-4 as the SEC schedule does not allow the Razorbacks to play a second COVID-19 makeup game.

More:Alabama basketball fans breathe sigh of relief as team wins first SEC title since 2002

See also:No. 7 Alabama 64, Mississippi State 59: How Crimson Tide basketball clinched the SEC championship

The 14 regular-season SEC wins are Alabama's most since the 1987 Crimson Tide went 16-2 in league play. 

Feb 27, 2021; Starkville, Mississippi, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide players react late in the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum.

"We've been talking about this since the summer," senior John Petty Jr. said in an SEC Network interview after the game. "We knew what kind of team we had and knew what we could do."

As the top seed in the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Alabama will receive a double bye and open play at 11 a.m. Friday, March 12, pending any further changes to the current tournament schedule. Alabama would play the winner of the Thursday, March 11 game (participants yet to be determined.)

Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or via Twitter @cecilhurt