Alabama was the only team in the Power Five to win both the regular season and tournament titles in the conference, and was rewarded with a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament East region.
Michigan is the 1-seed, setting up a potential Elite Eight matchup between perhaps the two hottest names for national Coach of the Year in Juwan Howard and Nate Oats. The Wolverines had an outstanding season, finishing 20-4 and 13-3 in a tough Big Ten.
There is much work to be done before that, of course. To get out of the first weekend, the Tide will have to take down 15-seed Iona, coached by one Rick Pitino. The Gaels had some COVID disruptions this season, but won the MAAC autobid after playing only 17 games. They went 12-5 on the season. Should the Tide prevail there, they will face the winner of 7-seed UConn and 10-seed Maryland. UConn (15-7) finished third in the Big East behind Creighton and Villanova while Maryland managed to make the field despite a sub-.500 showing in a Big Ten conference that is clearly being considered the cream of the crop this season.
Should they navigate that pod successfully, the Tide will be looking at a solid opponent, as one would expect. Texas is the 3-seed and would be the projected opponent in the round of 16, but they will need to get by 6-seed BYU who played top overall seed Gonzaga tough this season. Michigan State, who beat three of the four top seeds in the tournament looms as a potential spoiler on the 11-seed line as well.
All in all, it’s a pretty fair draw. You don’t expect the games to be easy in the Big Dance, but the Tide will be favored to make the second weekend, and that’s a great spot to be. After that the games will be something of a toss-up, but that’s what makes March Madness special .
Thoughts on the seedings?