Momentum had shifted.
Or so it seemed.
But Alabama, like great teams often do, responded with a 19-6 run in the final 4:31 to pull away and win 84-69. So now the Crimson Tide is 14-2 overall and 4-0 in the SEC with massive road wins at Houston and Arkansas to offset losses to UConn and Gonzaga.
"We've been good in tough games," said Alabama coach Nate Oats. "I thought the loss to UConn really showed our guys if you're not tough, you're not going to be able to win these big games."
As I noted on Wednesday night's Inside College Basketball on CBS Sports Network, Alabama checks every box as a legitimate national championship contender. The Crimson Tide have a great coach, talented guards and an undeniable star and future NBA Draft lottery pick in Brandon Miller. They're good offensively, even better defensively and proven winners of big games. Taking all of this into account, I've moved Alabama to No. 4 in Thursday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.
Arkansas is down to No. 20.
It's starting to be fair to wonder just how good the Razorbacks are considering they're A) 1-3 in their past four games with double-digit losses to Auburn and Alabama, and B) playing without their second-best transfer (Trevon Brazile) and top NBA prospect (Nick Smith Jr.). Brazile is out for the season with a torn ACL. Smith has been sidelined with a knee issue that's limited him to just five games. Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is obviously great, which is why I'm leaving open the possibility that the Hogs will turn this around. But the truth is that almost any coach missing two of his top four scorers is destined to go through a rough stretch, and the SEC title that seemed possible in the preseason is no longer a likely scenario now that Arkansas is 1-3 in the league and projected by KenPom.com to finish 10-8 in SEC games.
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Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Marcus Sasser finished with 31 points and four assists in Wednesday's 83-77 win over USF. The Cougars' next game is Tuesday at Tulane.||--||33-4|
|Zach Edey finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds in Sunday's 76-63 win over Penn State. The Boilermakers' next game is Friday against Nebraska.||--||29-6|
|K.J. Adams finished with 22 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 79-75 win over Oklahoma. The Jayhawks' next game is Saturday against Iowa State.||--||28-8|
|Marcus Sears finished with 26 points and four rebounds in Wednesday's 84-69 win at Arkansas. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday against LSU.||2||31-6|
|Drew Timme finished with 20 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 81-76 win at Santa Clara. The Zags' next game is Thursday at BYU.||--||31-6|
|Markquis Nowell finished with 20 points and seven assists in Tuesday's 65-57 win over Oklahoma State. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday at TCU.||1||26-10|
|Julian Phillips finished with 15 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 77-68 win over Vanderbilt. The Vols' next game is Saturday against Kentucky.||1||25-11|
|UConn allowed the Golden Eagles to shoot 50.8% from the field in Wednesday's 82-76 loss at Marquette. The Huskies' next game is Sunday against St. John's.||4||31-8|
|Jaylen Clark finished with 15 points and five rebounds in Thursday's 60-58 win over USC. The Bruins' next game is Thursday against Utah.||--||31-6|
|Colby Jones finished with 20 points and four rebounds in Wednesday's 90-87 win over Creighton. The Musketeers' next game is Sunday against Marquette.||--||27-10|
|Arizona missed 21 of the 25 3-pointers it attempted in Saturday's 74-61 loss to Washington State. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday at Oregon State.||--||28-7|
|Timmy Allen finished with 17 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 79-75 win over TCU. The Longhorns' next game is Saturday against Texas Tech.||--||29-9|
|Gabe Kalscheur finished with 25 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday's 84-50 win over Texas Tech. The Cyclones' next game is Saturday at Kansas.||--||19-14|
|TCU squandered an 18-point lead in Wednesday's 79-75 loss at Texas. The Horned Frogs' next game is Saturday against Kansas State.||--||22-13|
|Isaiah Wong finished with 22 points and three assists in Wednesday's 88-72 win over Boston College. The Hurricanes' next game is Saturday at NC State.||--||29-8|
|Ben Vander Plas finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday's 65-58 win over North Carolina. The Cavaliers' next game is Saturday at Florida State.||--||25-8|
|Noah Locke finished with 20 points and three rebounds in Saturday's 83-80 win over St. John's. The Friars' next game is Saturday at Creighton.||1||21-12|
|Oso Ighodaro finished with 19 points and three rebounds in Wednesday's 82-76 win over UConn. The Golden Eagles' next game is Sunday at Xavier.||3||29-7|
San Diego St.
|Matt Bradley finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's 74-65 win over Nevada. The Aztecs' next game is Saturday against New Mexico.||1||32-7|
|Arkansas shot 20% from 3-point range in Wednesday's 84-69 loss to Alabama. The Razorbacks' next game is Saturday at Vanderbilt.||1||22-14|
|Ohio State finished with 12 turnovers and just eight assists in Sunday's 80-73 loss at Maryland. The Buckeyes' next game is Thursday against Minnesota.||1||16-19|
|Keyonte George finished with 32 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday's 83-78 win at West Virginia. The Bears' next game is Saturday against Oklahoma State.||1||23-11|
|Kyle Filipowskii finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds in Wednesday's 77-69 win over Pitt. The Blue Devils' next game is Saturday at Clemson.||1||27-9|
|Johnell Davis finished with 17 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 77-73 overtime win at Florida International. The Owls' next game is Saturday against North Texas.||1||35-4|
|Wendell Green Jr. finished with 23 points and seven assists in Tuesday's 82-73 win at Ole Miss. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against Mississippi State.||1||21-13|
|Terquavion Smith finished with 22 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 73-69 win at Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack's next game is Saturday against Miami.||NR||23-11|
IN: NC State. OUT: Missouri