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Preview: LSU vs Alabama, ESPN2, 5pm

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

January ended with people jumping off the LSU Basketball bandwagon to go grab torches and pitchforks as the team let one get away in Starkvegas. Borrowing from scripture there was wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout Tigerland, and borrowing from Ernest Lawrence Thayer there was no joy in Mudville.

But as the calendar turned to February, the dust began to settle. That was until the groundhog saw his shadow meaning six more weeks of winter. Uninspired by the forecast from Punxsutawney, the boys in purple and gold hosted the Bruce Pearl coached men from the plains of Auburn. LSU in the game played inconsistently and looked more like the team that lost to Missouri and Texas A&M than the team that beat Texas Tech and West Virginia.

With the loss to Auburn, LSU is now just one game over .500 in the SEC. The Tigers look to improve that number Saturday afternoon as they host the Tide. Alabama comes into the game with a record 14-8 overall and 4-5 in league play. A closer look shows the Tide is 1-5 away from Tuscaloosa. On paper Alabama is a team that LSU should handle easily. However, the same was said about other conference opponents.

Two players Levi Randolph and Jimmie Taylor have started every game this season for the Tide. Randolph is a 6-foot 5-inch 208-pound senior who leads the team in just about every statistical category including points (326), assists (50), and steals (32). LSU would like to see him trading places with a few players off the bench. Taylor is a 6-foot 10-inch 240-pound sophomore and leads the team in blocked shots with 1.8 blocks per game.

One question remains begged to be asked. Can LSU beat Alabama in something? The question will be answered on ESPN2 and on the radio dial Saturday afternoon live at five.