Alabama has a bit of a tailwind entering the final stretch of its highly-anticipated 2017-18 basketball season.

Winning consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 17 and 20, the Crimson Tide now faces perhaps its toughest string of games with a little momentum. That leaves the program's first NCAA tournament bid since 2012 in focus.

Alabama (17-9, 8-5 SEC) was projected as a No. 7 seed in ESPN's bracket projection released before it beat LSU 80-65 Tuesday night. CBS Sports had the Tide as a No. 8 seed in its latest forecast that also came before Tuesday's action.

The tournament application is solid to this point for Alabama. The selection committee, using a new process this season, weighs wins and losses differently. The Tide is 6-3 in Quadrant 1 games — deemed most challenging. That includes wins over RPI top-10 teams Rhode Island (No. 5) and Auburn (No. 9).

Alabama is currently No. 32 in the RPI and No. 42 in the KenPom ranking.

Interestingly, the Tide has a worse record in Quadrant 2 games than the higher level. It is 3-5 in those games, 5-1 in Quadrant 3 and 3-0 in Quadrant 4. The worst loss on the resume is to RPI No. 135 Minnesota in the game famously finished with just three Alabama players on the floor.

The NCAA released all the team sheets that break down the quadrants and explained what they mean.

It only gets more difficult from here.

All five remaining games feature opponents currently in the top 50 of the RPI with the three most challenging of those games coming on the road.

Kentucky, RPI No. 20, is next at 1 p.m. Saturday in Lexington. A rematch at Auburn is next followed by home games with Arkansas (No. 35) and Florida (No. 46) before finishing the season at No. 16 Texas A&M.