Crimson Tide Cruises Into NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
The No. 2 seed Alabama Crimson Tide ran away from the No. 10 Maryland Terrapins to march into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004. The Crimson Tide made 16 3-point shots to take down the Terrapins 96-77.
"Giving a grade to the game. I mean, look, defensively we were a 1.17. I'm looking at the HDI box score right now, our analytics company, which was not where we needed to be. Our goal was like 1.0," said Alabama head coach Nate Oats.
"So defensively I didn't think we were very good. So we're not going to give it an A. Offensively we looked great. We were 1.48, which is outstanding. So it's nice that the offense came around. I looked on KenPom. I think we jumped from 38 to 27th in the country in one game. That's how good the offense was. So maybe a B. If our defense would have been where it needed to be, it would have been an A but we've got to get both sides of the ball going. Hopefully against UCLA we can get the defense back and keep the offense rolling as well."
Alabama took control of the game in a 27-15 run in the first half in which it turned a small deficit into an 11-point lead. The run was sparked by senior Alex Reese who scored 11 of his 13 points in the game to seize control of the second round matchup.
The SEC champions received a balanced contribution offensively as five players were in double figures, sophomore Jaden Shackelford scored 21, senior John Petty contributed 20, sophomore Jahvon Quinerly 14, senior Reese added 13 and freshman Joshua Primo scored 10.
Quinerly tallied his first career double-double in the second-round matchup with his aforementioned 14 points and additionally contributed 11 assists.
The Crimson Tide improved from round one when it only converted three 3-point shots and instead scored 16 against the Big 10's eighth place team. Additionally Alabama converted on all 10 of its free-throw attempts, up from the 56% the Tide made in round one.
Alabama makes the Sweet 16 for the eighth time in program history and will take on the No. 11 UCLA for rights to advance to the Elite 8. Should Alabama defeat UCLA it will advance as deep as its ever been in program history.
UCLA defeated Michigan State in the "First Four" round 86-80, beat No. 6 BYU 73-62 in Round One and took down No. 14 Abilene Christian 67-47 in the Second Round.
The Sweet 16 game will be on Sunday, March 28 at a time to be determined.
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