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Basketball Hosts No. 18 Alabama

Tide and Tigers battle for first place in the SEC

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

For the better part of the past decade, whenever Alabama and LSU got together control of the SEC was usually at stake...on the football field at least.

Tonight, however, the Crimson Tide and Fighting Tigers aren’t battling for first place inside of Death Valley, instead they’re playing inside the PMAC.

No. 18 Alabama (11-3, 6-0) and LSU (10-2, 5-1) tip-off at 8:00 tonight on ESPN2 with first place in the SEC at stake. The two will meet again in Tuscaloosa on February 3.

The one knock on LSU’s season so far is struggling against opponents equally as talented as they are. LSU’s two losses are against Florida and Saint Louis both of whom look to be in the NCAA Tournament come March.

Alabama has had no such issues and has a resumé already littered with impressive wins. The Tide gave No. 6 Tennessee its only loss of the season, beat Florida by 15, Kentucky by 20 and Arkansas by 31. Road venues don’t seem to phase Alabama either as they beat Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn on their home floors.

LSU has taken strides defensively as of late. The Tigers held Ole Miss and Arkansa to 35 percent shooting; and when LSU absolutely had to stop South Carolina in the second half they did, holding the Gamecocks without a field goal for nearly 8:00 minutes Saturday.

LSU will need to keep up the defensive intensity because Alabama has been on a roll offensively. In SEC play, the Tide are averaging 85 points a game and have cracked 90 in two of its last three games.

This battle for conference supremacy is set to tip-off at 8:00 P.M.