Monday, March 18, 2013

Not In Tournament brackets set


We got the #1 seed so will play all games in Tuscaloosa until we get to the final four in New York.  We open up with the Northeastern Huskies tomorrow night at 8pm on ESPN2.  I think we got a pretty good draw, although Maryland or Denver could give us a tough game in the "Great Eight."  Assuming we don't crap the bed against a bad Northeastern team, we would face either Stanford or Stephen F. Austin in the "bittersweet 16."

There are some good names, strong teams in this tourney.  Kentucky will have to play their first game on the road, in Robert Morris's 3,000 seat gym, because Rupp Arena is an NCAA tournament sight.  Talk about adding insult to injury to the Big Blue nation.

Two years ago when we made the run to the championship game, there was a lot of excitement about the team and this tournament, in part because we had a young team in Coach Grant's 2nd year and also a lot of people felt we deserved an NCAA bid.  Those games were some of the best atmospheres we've had in Coleman in a long time.

The mood definitely feels different this time around.  Frankly, I don't know how much the extra practice will help this team, and we are all disappointed that we didn't achieve a bid to the big dance.  Nevertheless, this team has a chance to make history and win our first NIT championship.  I'm not all that excited about it, but I will be there tomorrow night regardless.


crimsontider said...

Yep, just what we expected in year 4 of the Anthony Grant era, a home game against Northeastern. 2 mil a year. 4 years. What a disgrace.

Msmilie said...

Yes, let's talk about the game(s) that Alabama will be playing. I know the NIT is a disappointment a year after going to the NCAA, but at least the team can continue its season. And the opportunity exists for Alabama to host some name teams like Stanford and Maryland.

My chief concern is does the team even want to be on the court come Tuesday night. As you wrote, there was some excitement from the fans two years ago when Alabama made its run along with the motivating factor to prove they belonged in the NCAA. I'm not sold this team has that same fire. I hope I'm wrong.

As far as the bracket: I hate to say it with all of the negativity swirling around this blog lately, but Alabama drew some potential match-ups that could prevent a return to New York. Home court will help though.

Alabama should win the first game, but Northeastern is a solid team. Their coach, Bill Coen, is well-respected in the profession. It's a balanced scoring team but appear to be so so defensively. If Alabama shows up and gives a shit, they should win that game. Unfortunately, I don't expect a large crowd for a Tuesday night game against a CAA team.

Stanford and Maryland should hopefully bring in better crowds should Alabama advance. I think Stephen F. Austin, despite the fact they were a very good mid-major this year, would be the better match-up in round 2 from a tempo standpoint. Stanford of course won this event last year. They're big across the front and Dwight Powell is the type of athletic big man that has been a nightmare for Alabama this season. They also have pretty good guards. They're pretty efficient scoring and they are a much better defensive team than they were last year. I'm surprised they didn't have a better season.

Maryland would be another tough match-up should that game play out. I think they're probably playing the best basketball right now of all the teams selected for this event. Any team that can beat Duke twice in one season has to have some players. Alex Len is a pro big man in the middle, which will be problematic for Alabama. Len doesn't always bring his A game, but when he does he can be a pain on both ends of the court. He outplayed Duke's Mason Plumlee twice this season. They have good guards that can shoot the ball and Dez Wells, a transfer from Xavier, does a little bit of everything for them. Mark Turgeon is also a hell of a head coach who I think will put Maryland back into contention, though I question the logic in leaving the ACC for the Big 10 as I think that transition could hinder them in their rebuilding.

I guess this puts me in SEC homerville but I hope all three SEC teams can make it to New York and try to put some kind of shine on the turd that was the SEC this season.

Msmilie said...

Jesus, get over yourself already. The team has a game to play on Tuesday. Discuss the game or don't comment. At the end of the season, Bobby will post a season in review and you can rant on Anthony Grant to your heart's content. This post is about the game(s) that Alabama is playing in the NIT. Stay on topic.

Msmilie said...

For those of you in and around T-Town. Tickets to the game tomorrow are general admission and cost 9 bucks. 9 bucks. It's times like these that I miss living in my home state. Despite what your feelings concerning the state of the program and the coaching staff might be, spend the 9 bucks and go pull for the team. At the end of the day, we're all Alabama fans. Roll Tide.

crimsontider said...

As for the games, (your welcome, M) assuming we don't lose to an awful northeastern team, SFA, or Stanford could give us a close game. SFA finished 27-4 with a win at Oklahoma, and a close loss @ A&M. The Maryland game, has potential. Playing Alex Len should be a good measuring stick for our bigs, and Trevor Releford vs. Dez Well has a lot of potential especially if CAG will let Releford run the offense (ha). Ultimately I think Maryland comes out of the bracket.

crimsontider said...

Interested to see what kind of effort we have tommorow, everybody form the players to the fans is disappointed, hopefully we do not lay a huge egg because of it. You think it's bad now, just lose to northeastern in the first round of the NIT....

Msmilie said...

Yeah, that would be doubt. If that happens I'm taking the week off from the blog because I don't even want to wade into that shitstorm. I can't imagine a large crowd will be on hand either so it'll be another one of those situations where the team will have to create energy. Do they have any left? We shall see. If nothing else, those of us watching from home will have the dulcet tones of Bob Knight.

I'll say this in advance though. Should Alabama take care of their business tomorrow, potential games against Stanford and Maryland will not be easy. Both teams have size, and that's a match-up problem for this year's edition. I sure hope I'm wrong, but New York does not seem like the slam dunk it was two years ago.

crimsontider said...

Yea, I may have to mute the TV with Knight.