If I had told Crimson Tide fans in late February that Alabama would make the Sweet 16, you would have taken it. If I had told you five years ago Alabama would be in the third Sweet 16 in four seasons, you would call Nate Oats a success.

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Nate Oats just did something only one other Alabama coach has ever done in the history of the program: he has taken Alabama to the Elite Eight.

It wasn't easy, as Alabama had to fight tooth and nail this season in a top-heavy SEC. Many fans counted out the Crimson Tide after another blowout loss to the Florida Gators in the SEC tournament.

Alabama never quit.

The Crimson Tide defeated Charleston in the round of 64 and Grand Canyon in the round of 32. Alabama had never faced a higher-seeded opponent in the NCAA tournament under Nate Oats.

Until tonight, when they shot 42.3% from three, led by Rylan Griffen going five-for-eight from beyond the arc en route to an 89-87 victory over North Carolina.

One of the main stories of the night was Grant Nelson, who stepped up huge for Alabama. His double-double with 24 points and 12 assists helped Alabama to the second Elite Eight in program history.

Despite facing some injury concerns, Alabama completed the second-half comeback. Latrell Wrightsell Jr. did not play due to a head injury he suffered against Grand Canyon, and Nick Pringle missed some time in the game due to a non-contact foot injury, although it was announced on the broadcast it was likely a bone bruise.

 

Alabama Stat Leaders

Points: Grant Nelson - 24

Rebounds: Grant Nelson - 12

Assists: Nick Pringle, Aaron Estrada - 3

Notable Note:

Mark Sears set the school record for single-season points with 18 tonight.

Alabama had four players in double digits points: Grant Nelson with 24, Rylan Griffen with 19, Aaron Estrada with 19, and Mark Sears with 18.

The Alabama Crimson Tide will face off against the Clemson Tigers on Saturday in the Elite Eight. The time of the game is unknown at this time.

 

 

Alabama's Hard-Fought Win Over GCU

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

Alabama Men's Basketball vs Charleston

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

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