"I could not be prouder of the effort our guys gave today," Grant said. "In the first half we really struggled. Give Ole Miss credit, I feel like they shot the ball extremely well and they were tough defensively. At halftime we talked about what we needed to do from a defensive standpoint and I thought from that point forward the defense just continued to get better and better and better over the course of the rest of the game."
On JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell in this game: "Tonight they played with great heart and great passion. One of the assistants mentioned probably three times tonight, JaMychal had to ask to come out of the game because he was playing with so much heart and so much passion. Tony stepped up and was terrific down the stretch. He took a blow to the head in the first half and had to sit for a while in the second half, but he was dying to get back in there and he really made some plays for us there in the end. If you look at the box score we had 10 guys in double figures for minutes, and everybody, every last one of them made a play at some point. That was pivotal to the win."
The Alabama men's basketball team improved to 15-7 and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play with a heart-pounding 69-67 double-overtime victory over the Mississippi Rebels before a boisterous Coleman Coliseum crowd of 12,711 Saturday night. With the win the Crimson Tide improves to 10-2 all-time in double-overtime games while Alabama head coach Anthony Grant improves to 3-0 in overtime games during his UA tenure. With the loss, Mississippi falls to 14-8 and 4-4 in the SEC.
Alabama tied the game at 21 with 7:08 left in the first half, but Ole Miss went on a 10-0 run - helped in part by Crimson Tide players' frustration over several calls not going their way. That irritation culminated in Alabama coach Anthony Grant earning a technical about five minutes into the second half. After that, Alabama seemed to settle down and go about the business of earning a win. It erased a seven-point deficit in the course of 82 seconds, tying the game midway through the second half. The teams went back-and-forth from then on during regulation.
Andrew Steele hit a jump shot and 1 of 2 free throws in the final 31 seconds of the second overtime, lifting Alabama to a 69-67 victory over Mississippi on Saturday night. Steele picked up a loose ball just before the shot clock ran out and drilled a long jumper for the Crimson Tide (15-7, 4-4 Southeastern Conference), which has won two straight after a four-game losing streak.
There were times, especially in the first half, when it looked as if the last things Alabama would be worried about were game-winning situations. The Crimson Tide struggled offensively, especially after JaMychal Green's early foul trouble, and trailed by as many as 10 points, 31-21, just before halftime. "At the half, they were shooting 56 percent from the field. We had a level of frustration and needed to be a little more patient offensively. But we needed to defend better. We did that in the second half, and I thought as the overtimes went on, we got stronger."
The glory will go to Tony Mitchell and Andrew Steele. They made the clutch shots late to lift Alabama to a 69-67 double-overtime victory over Ole Miss on Saturday night. But take away a couple of takeaways by sophomore point guard Trevor Releford and the Crimson Tide (15-7, 4-4 in the SEC) might have left Coleman Coliseum with its fifth loss in its past six games. "He made a play when his team needed it," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. "That separates winning from misery."
31. New York Giants: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama: The Giants have passed on drafting a linebacker in the first round for many years, going with defensive line and defensive back talent instead. If Hightower — the second-rated inside linebacker talent on my board — is available, they should grab him. A tackling machine out of Nick Saban’s defensive star factory down in Tuscaloosa, he could be an opening day starter in 2012.
"After my first year in the league, I knew we would go back," he said. "I thought all you had to do was win a majority of the games in the regular season and then win out in the playoffs. We didn't even make the playoffs my other (four) years with the Bears. This is my first year coming back to the playoffs, (five) years later."
Patriots DE Mark Anderson, who came out of Alabama, got into the act of amateur draft analyst, too, chiming in on some of his school's pro prospects. "I still follow it closely," Anderson said. "(S Mark) Barron jumps out at me. I like the way he comes up and hits you. I like the way he plays — that fire and intensity that he plays with. Also, Richardson, I like the way he runs the ball. He runs hard-nosed, gets after it. He pounds it for every yard he gets. Those two really stand out to me. (LB Courtney) Upshaw, he's a good linebacker, as well. But those (first) two guys really stick out in my mind when I think about Alabama."
The NCAA has placed the University of Nebraska Athletic Department under two years' probation and enforced a $38,000 fine, which has gone to local charities, after what the department committed what the NCAA called "major violations." The announcement came Wednesday afternoon. It marks the end of an investigation that began last summer after the department realized nearly 500 student athletes had, from 2007 to 2010, received recommended course books under scholarship. NCAA rules prohibit scholarships from paying for anything but required materials. (ed.- what, no vacated wins?)