For the first time in 45 years, Alabama is the Southeastern Conference champion in both football and men's basketball.
Jaden Shackleford scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half, and No. 6 Alabama beat Mississippi State 64-59 on Saturday night to clinch its first Southeastern Conference regular-season championship since 2002.
The men's basketball crown comes just two months after the school's powerhouse football team won the conference title on the way to winning the national championship. It's the first time both programs won titles in the same academic year since 1975-76, and ending a 19-year drought on the court was cause for celebration.
"I went in there and they dumped a bunch of water on me," second-year Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said of the joyous postgame locker room. "They were already celebrating before we got off the floor. They were fired up about it, they knew what was at stake. It's big. It doesn't happen very often."
The Tide (19-6, 14-2) led by double digits for much of the game before the Bulldogs (13-12, 7-9) closed to 56-53 on Iverson Molinar's layup with 4:17 left. Mississippi State had a chance to draw even closer over the next three minutes, but Alabama came up with a couple big stops and James Rojas drained a 3-pointer from the right corner to make it 59-53 with 43 seconds left.
D.J. Stewart Jr. made four free throws for the Bulldogs in the final minute, but the Tide went 5-for-6 at the foul line down the stretch, including two successful attempts for John Petty Jr. with 11.9 left.
Alabama, projected as a potential No. 2 seed for the NCAA tournament, was coming off a 15-point loss Wednesday night at Arkansas.
Jahvon Quinerly had 19 points Saturday, including 15 before halftime that helped the Tide snap out of a cold start from the floor. Herbert Jones grabbed 14 rebounds as Alabama enjoyed a 45-40 advantage on the glass.
Stewart scored 15 points for the Bulldogs, who had won their past two games, Deivon Smith added 12 with 13 rebounds and Molinar scored 11.
The Tide host Auburn on Tuesday night, seeking a season sweep of their in-state rival, before closing the regular season next Saturday at Georgia.