No. 6 Alabama adds another SEC title, edges LSU at tourney

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Alabama players celebrate after beating LSU in the championship game of the NCAA college basketball Southeastern Conference Tournament Sunday, March 14, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Alabama won 80-79. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Skip calling Alabama simply a football school anymore. The Crimson Tide have courted a new moniker they think fits so much better.

Just call them a Championship School.

Herbert Jones drove for a go-ahead layup with 19.5 seconds and No. 6 Alabama won the Southeastern Conference Tournament for the first time since 1991, holding off a late flurry to edge LSU 80-79 Sunday.

Coach Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide added to their regular-season title with a victory that helped Alabama match its highest seed ever in the NCAA Tournament. The Tide, which was No. 2 in both 1987 and 2002, is seeded second and will play Iona on Saturday.

Alabama, the reigning national champions in football, won its seventh tournament title overall, second in the SEC only to Kentucky's 31. The Crimson Tide (24-6) hadn't even reached this game since 2002.

Now they've joined Florida (2006-07) as the only SEC schools with both the league football and basketball titles in the same year. Alabama did it by adding two more SEC titles in basketball after Nick Saban's squad won both the SEC and national championships a couple months ago.

Oats noted Alabama football set the new name Saturday, referring to the Tide on Twitter as a “ CHAMPIONSHIP SCHOOL.”

“So we don’t have to be a football school or a basketball school,” Oats said. "We just win championships. We’re a championship school.”