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Jumbo Package: We Are At War With Creighton; We Have Always Been At War With Creighton

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Tonight is the rematch four years in the making: Alabama vs. Creighton in Omaha.

YOU MUST BE AVENGED!
YOU MUST BE AVENGED!
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Man, I hate Creighton

CECIL HURT: Alabama basketball team needs more games | TuscaloosaNews.com

The NIT can sometimes be an unwelcome destination for teams that, because of expectations or in-season circumstances, are ready to pull the plug. Alabama, though, needs to keep the juice flowing. "We need to play," Johnson said Friday night in Nashville in the wake of a third 2016 loss to a Kentucky team that seems to be peaking into a postseason juggernaut. "We need games, quality games against good opposition. We have two great seniors (Retin Obasohan and Arthur Edwards) and they want to keep playing. For the rest of our players, they need more games, more games in our system.

Look at this NIT like bowl prep: This young roster needs the reps and more games. To get there, the Tide will have to overcome Creighton (who totally fouled Releford in the last second of Alabama's 57-56 loss to the Bluejays in 2012, as even scumbag Greg McDermott admits.)

AL.com All-Access: Alabama and UAB should get mad and get even after Selection Sunday slights | AL.com

...the NIT managed to invite and insult them both. Alabama was given a No. 5 seed and dispatched to play at Creighton. In a cruel twist, Creighton's the last team Alabama played in the NCAA Tournament. Doug McDermott and the Blue Jays sent the Tide home quickly in 2012. If the seeds hold and Alabama advances, Avery Johnson and his crew will have to play every NIT game away from home. Even Anthony Grant's last Alabama team a year ago got one NIT home game

As the next two stories indicate, why yes, Alabama is a team with a chip on its shoulder. They are actually excited to be here, unlike, say, South Carolina. But, there is an understandable bit of frustration with how the Tide finished the season, and it's spilling over into practice.

First practice fight of season lets Avery Johnson know Alabama ready for NIT | AL.com

Before leaving for the 8 p.m. Tuesday game at Creighton, Johnson said the Crimson Tide had its first practice dust up of the season. "I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it," Johnson said with a grin. "I was just hoping ... because I was on the floor trying to break them up, I was just hoping I didn't get punched in the eye. Because if I would have gone home with a black eye, it wouldn't have been nice." Johnson wouldn't reveal who did the scrapping, but said it was a good sign. He said his really good teams had three or four of those in a season.

What's the mindset of SEC teams going into the NIT? - ESPN Video

SEC Network's Tony Delk and Daymeon Fishback discuss what to expect from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in the NIT.

Tony Delk with some interesting quotes from Tide asst (and the forever beloved) Antoine Pettway. If the Blue Jays think they're playing a down team tonight, they will be in for a shock.

BTW: That vaunted Alabama vs. UAB matchup? The only way that can happens if both teams spring a pair of upsets in the first two rounds. If that is the case, Alabama would host UAB in a quarterfinal matchup on March 24th or 25th to earn a trip the Garden.

SECs

Seeding set for 2016 Gymnastics Championship

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The seeding has been determined for the 2016 Southeastern Conference Gymnastics Championship. Seeding for the SEC Gymnastics Championship is based on final regular-season Regional Qualifying Scores (RQS). The 2016 SEC Gymnastics Championship will take place Saturday, March 19 at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark., beginning at 1 p.m. CT.

I'm heading to this one Saturday, and it should be hella' fun. Alabama is in the evening session (with LSU, Auburn, and Florida) and has a weird draw. The Tide begin on beam, then move to floor, vault, and bars. Hope for the best. Tickets aren't terribly expensive, BTW: $20 for the entire day.

WNIT

Alabama women to play in postseason for just 2nd time since 2002 | AL.com

"We are excited for the opportunity for postseason play," Tide coach Kristy Curry said. "It is a step forward in our process with one of the youngest teams in the SEC. Our players have already benefitted from the additional practice days and time together, and we look forward to Wednesday."

Alabama does not have a winning record, and yes, the Tide dropped 13 of 15 down the stretch, but it's encouraging for Kristy Curry's rebuild that she got this far. They will play at Tulane in New Orleans, La. on Wed. March 16, time TBA.

Crootin'

The Opening in Dallas revealed a workout monster recruit from New Mexico, plus much more - SBNation.com

O'Maury Samuels of Los Lunas (N.M.) earned an invite to Sunday's camp after an incredible performance at the Nike+ ratings event Saturday with a 44.5" vertical jump, 4.58 40-yard dash, 4.14 short-shuttle and a powerball throw of 43 feet. Samuels is originally from Louisiana. From the looks of it, he spends all his time working out. New Mexico State was his only offer, but after that score and his invite to Nike's The Opening, Samuels' Twitter follower list exploded with coaches from Alabama, Notre Dame, TCU, Baylor, Arkansas, USC and more. Welcome to the big time, O'Maury.

Keep an eye on NM RB O'Maury. He has just one offer now, but his athleticism is off the chart. Recruitniks may want to check in on the above article. Alabama has several targets (or at least aspirants) displaying their wares in Dallas.

Alabama makes big move in recruitment of Georgia cornerback Yusuf Corker | AL.com

"Everybody was moving around," Corker said. "Nobody was standing around. Even the walk-ons, the fourth string guys, everybody was getting reps. The ones and twos were on one field, the threes and fours were doing something. "When the whistle went off, they would switch fields. Nick Saban was looking at everybody and teaching everybody. When one person did something wrong, a veteran would help them correct it and the next time, they would make a big play." Corker fits the mold of a taller cornerback that Alabama is targeting.

Corker is presently listed as a three-star. But, his film is very good. He is very capable in man and press coverages, and his length is a nightmare on high school quarterbacks.

Monstar

Jesse Williams receives Ed Block Courage Award | AL.com

Former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams was among the winners when the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation held its annual banquet in Baltimore this weekend. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation supports abused, neglected and at-risk children through its Courage House National Support Network for Kids. The foundation presents the Ed Block Courage Award annually to one player on each NFL team. The award goes to players "who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage" and recognizes "extra efforts both on and off the field and their ability to overcome great adversity."

And, yes, Jesse Williams has definitely faced adversity. He entered the league coming off of surgery, and needing more, and was sidelined for the year. Then, the next two seasons he fought and overcame cancer. For his efforts, the Seahawks waived him last week. Thanks, Pete Carroll! Good luck to Jesse as he tries to land on another roster, finally healthy.

Miscellaneous

The 64 Most Annoying People In Sports Media: Stephen A. Smith Region | College Spun

We want you to help us determine the most annoying person in sports media. We’ve gone ahead and nominated 64 different candidates. A few of the nominees – like Barstool Sports, Saturday Down South and SB Nation – are actually entities, rather than people. But you get the gist. We’ve also put ourselves on here, just in case you think that we’re actually the most annoying. Let’s get started.

If anyone besides Clay Travis wins this prestigious award, it will be a massive upset.