Alabama for obvious reasons", Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said.
"You know like when you're in the gym sometimes and you just imagine stuff like that happens, and you've always got to be prepared for that", Sexton said about his game-winner.
Sexton scored 27 points and saved the most important for the end after Alabama surrendered a 12-point lead. Collin Sexton responded to a T.J. Starks three pointer with four seconds left by hitting an underhand floater as time expired.
Up next, the Crimson Tide will face No. 1-seed Auburn on Friday in the quarterfinal round at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. "When they made their run, it bothered us more than it should have".
The Alabama victory put their five-game losing skid to a halt and gave them a major boost in terms of their chances of making the NCAA Tournament. They breed a lot of confidence into our team. The Crimson Tide qualified for Friday's game by virtue of its 71-70 victory over Texas A&M on Thursday.
But after Alabama made seven consecutive shots to pad its lead, it missed the next 12, providing an opening that the Aggies (20-12) seized upon.
"They came down and flipped the table on us really quickly", Pearl said. "I thought they were locked in".
Points in the paint were controlled by Alabama, with 36 points, compared to Texas A&M's 32. At the other end, A&M blocked nine shots with Robert Williams swatting seven. He followed with a layup to regain the lead for Alabama. His final answer was the biggest. Dazon Ingram scored 13 points for the Crimson Tide, and Donta Hall added 11.
One of the lasting images of this first-ever SEC Tournament in St. Louis has to be Bruce Pearl ranting on the sideline after the game and escorted away by security.
"We just didn't have it in the second half", Pearl said.
"We can't really look at the negatives of our past because it's not going to do anything", Krippner said. "Our team showed some maturity". A few more wins could ensure their trip to the NCAA Tournament this spring.
The thing about conference tournaments is that if you win, you have to come back the next day and typically play an even better opponent.
"Everybody focuses on the losses", Johnson said.
"For us, it's about getting back to a good, solid lineup that everybody is predictable with and that everybody trusts each other and doing that for a few meets".