Tonight’s WNIT Sweet 16 game in Coleman Coliseum has several stories to watch. There’s the development of this Tide team down the stretch and the 7-3 run Kristy Curry’s squad is on. There’s the improvement of the young players and their growth into a inside-outside team.
Then, there are two elements which make the game a little more personal. The first is that Alabama was eliminated by this same Tulane team in the first round of last year’s WNIT. Four of the Green Wave starters return tonight. And the Tide aren’t running from that rematch either. A lot has changed and improved over the past 12 months, and even the past 12 weeks. The teams sounds like a confident bunch ready to avenge their loss and take the next step for the program.
The Crimson Tide hasn’t forgotten the Green Wave ended its season in the first round of the same tournament one year ago. That loss is playing a role in UA’s mentality with even more on the line in round two.
A bunch has changed since Alabama fell to Tulane in 2016. The newest version of Crimson Tide is playing deeper into the postseason than it ever has under Curry, and this time home court advantage will belong to UA.
“(Right now) is the most confident we have been,” Alabama junior Ashley Williams said. “Each game gets a little harder, so I think going from conference into the SEC Tournament helped us build our confidence.”
Then, there’s this story. Kristy Curry began her coaching career back in the early 90s, where she was an assistant for the Green Wave program. She obviously cares about that, but when pressed, she’s more inclined to talk about the growth of her ball club
“I just have a ton of respect for (Tulane) and that community there, and what they have done for women’s basketball in south Louisiana,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “I know they have my attention. But anytime you’re dealing with 18- to 22-year-olds and where their mind might be with an opponent, I certainly know with our team (losing to Tulane last season) has their attention.”
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“We’re a lot deeper, we have more size and a better inside out presence on our team with balance than we’ve had and that’s what you want to build toward,” Curry said. “I think I’ve always been a coach that talks about what you do have and not what you don’t have and you don’t make excuses for whatever you’ve inherited.”
Again, if you can make it, head on out to Coleman Coliseum. There are still plenty of seats left and the ladies can use your support. Best of luck and Roll Tide
Who: Alabama Crimson Tide (19-13, 11th SEC) versus Tulane Green Wave (18-14, AAC Tourney runner-up)
Date: March 23, 2017
Time & Place: Coleman Coliseum, 7:00 p.m. central
Ticket Information: $6 general admission; first 100 students enter free. Contact Rolltide.com or 1-205-348-3592
Television: CBS Sports, Fox College Sports
Streaming: CTSM On-Demand
Bracket: Right here.