Alabama’s Basketball Program Is Heading in the Right Direction
After a sensational run in the SEC Tournament, the Alabama basketball program has plenty to celebrate. They’ve been invited to play in the NCAA Tournament, where the committee thought enough of the Crimson Tide to book ’em as a #9 seed. But, people can’t help themselves from asking – are we heading towards a boom in Alabama basketball?
In Year 3 of Avery Johnson’s tenure, the Crimson Tide are back in the Big Dance for the first time since 2012. Alabama is a No. 9 seed and will match up against No. 8 Virginia Tech. The Crimson Tide and Hokies will meet Thursday at approximately 9:20 p.m. ET on TNT in Pittsburgh in the East Region.
“It’s huge. It shows that we’re trending in the right direction as Alabama basketball,” Ingram said. “It’s not just a football school anymore; it’s a basketball school, too.”
*Raises eyebrows* Maaaaaayyyyyyyybe if we can get another season or two of this type of play we can start saying Alabama is a basketball school, too. But, maybe pump the brakes on that for now? Am I being overly cynical here?
Don’t get me wrong – the Tide was down….wayyyy down…before Avery Johnson came to T-Town. I mean, no one even seemed to realize that basketball existed in Alabama. Now, these guys have all the talent to make a deep run in this tournament if they can get their act together. I’m just saying – I want to see it over a sustained amount of time before I buy in. That said, I’ll agree with Ingram that they are at least trending in the right direction.
Alabama will face a scrappy Virginia Tech team that owns wins over Duke and Clemson. The Hokies are one of two teams with a victory over No. 1 overall seed Virginia. The Hokies (21-11, 10-8 ACC) lost their first game of the ACC Tournament to Notre Dame.
I just can’t figure this Alabama team out, and I just can’t help but feel like this season is still somewhat of a disappointment.
They have Collin Sexton who is projected to be a top-1o pick in the NBA Draft. They climbed up the rankings…but then completely fell off. This team stumbled its way down the stretch, limping into the SEC Tournament, with major questions marks surrounding their candidacy for the NCAA Tournament. Also, it took a miracle buzzer beater from Sexton to sneak past Texas A&M, or we’re not even discussing this today.
Then they go and upset Auburn, one of the best teams in the country! You look at the talent on this team, and I for one, can’t help but think of what could’ve been had the stars aligned properly. Now, they’re going to have their hands full with this Virginia Tech team tomorrow night. And, ultimately, a decent run would erase a lot of concerns.
But, as for the question of whether or not they’re heading in the direction? I think that’s a resounding yes. For better or for worse, this season has been an instrumental building block for this blossoming basketball program.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley