Who can beat Alabama in March Madness? Evaluating the bracket forward of Sweet 16

The depth and expertise of Alabama males’s basketball has confounded groups all season. With few exceptions, the Crimson Tide has strung collectively elite stretches of basketball, and even when it’s not enjoying its greatest or at its healthiest, it’s nonetheless beating groups handily by double-digits.

Through the primary two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, a query has been raised to the 2 coaches who the Tide has bounced out: How good is Alabama?

First to be requested was Steve Lutz, then the pinnacle coach of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders performed Arizona, the No. 2 seed within the South area on Dec. 13, shedding 99-61. When evaluating the Tide and Wildcats, Lutz stated it could be like “splitting hairs” between two title contenders. But he stated that on Thursday earlier than Fifteenth-seeded Princeton upset Arizona and earlier than Alabama’s path to its first Final Four in program historical past received a lot simpler.

Maryland and coach Kevin Willard known as the 2022-23 Tide probably the most gifted the game has seen in almost 20 years. The Terrapins discovered success in grinding the sport to a halt, limiting Alabama to eight fastbreak factors and 11 bench factors. They hung in for a half. Foul hassle to Julian Reese and lack of offensive firepower sunk an upset bid. Willard was requested easy methods to deal with Alabama’s depth for 40 minutes.

“To be honest with you, I think you’re going to have to play (like us) to beat them,” Willard stated. “I watched Houston. I think Houston’s got the defense that they can get up and down. They have the one on one players — did UCLA win? I think (UCLA head coach Mick Cronin) has the talent that can run up and down with them a little bit. I just — they have, you know, their coming off the bench, you know, with seven-foot-one, six-foot-11, six-foot-eight. Jaden Bradley is an All-American; he’s coming off the bench. We knew we had to slow it up.”

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Per The Lines, Alabama opens as a seven-point favourite towards the Aztecs. Nate Oats and co. have the very best odds to achieve the nationwide semifinals at -125 (that means you would want to wager $125 to win $100, a complete payout of $225). That’s with Alabama reaching its workforce field-goal share (44.4%) simply twice this month.

As of Sunday morning, the ultimate day of the second spherical, two No. 1 seeds have misplaced in Purdue and Kansas. In the Tide’s nook of the bracket, No. 4 Virginia additionally dropped its opening recreation. To attain Houston, Alabama might want to overcome No. 5 San Diego State on Friday and the winner of No. 3 Baylor versus No. 6 Creighton on Sunday.

“Not really, we’re just kind of focused on our task, our route to the national championship,” Jahvon Quinerly stated after scoring a team-high 22 factors towards Maryland. “Obviously, we seen that Virginia and Arizona lost, but we really didn’t speak much on it. I feel like we’re just focused on the next opponent. … We all kinda know anybody can win in March. We just kinda focus on the task at hand.”

In Alabama’s 5 losses, a number of commonalities emerge within the field scores: Alabama has made not more than 9 3s in every of its defeats; its field-goal clip hovered close to 40%; it averaged 18.6 turnovers in these video games.

Two groups stay within the NCAA Tournament that has taken down Alabama this season. it may play four-seed Tennessee within the Final Four and No. 3 Gonzaga within the championship. The undeniable fact that Alabama has room to enhance, no less than on offense, and has but to be threatened solely bolsters its case for a historic run.

Nick Alvarez is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @nick_a_alvarez or e-mail him at NAlvarez@al.com.

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