Don’t feel like typing much today, folks. Got that ‘Rona vaccine today, and I feel like Daniel Wright with a halfback barreling towards him: outmatched, and ran slap-over. But, fear not. I’ve spent all week curating curiosities for the casual consumer. So, it’s Sweet 16 link dump time.
Let’s do this!
- Andy Katz knows UCLA has nothing in the tank for what they’re gonna’ see on Sunday.
- ‘Bama knows they’re deep, and at this point, they’ve bought-in to advancing over P/T.
- A great expose here on Herbert Jones — the man, the myth, the legend...and the Naismith Award and Naismith Defensive POTY finalist.
- In the East regional, using Bayesian Analysis, Alabama has four of the ten best remaining players. (FWIW, here’s what Bayesian inference is.)
- Don’t let anyone tell you that Alabama is not a basketball school. On-court success begs to differ.
- Andy Katz isn’t alone being impressed by ‘Bama — Jay Bilas is in love with this Alabama team that he pegs as “Final Four” material.
- What if I told you that statistically and analytically, this is the best team in Alabama basketball history? On the heels of having the best Alabama football team ever too.
- UCLA may be in some serious trouble this weekend:
Loser: Alabama’s doubters
Are there still people out there decrying Alabama’s 3-point heavy style as a flukish operation that won’t hold up in a single-elimination tournament? By surviving primarily off their defense on the way to an SEC Tournament title and in a first round victory over Iona on Saturday, the No. 2 seed Crimson Tide proved there is more to their mojo than just outside shooting. And No. 10 seed Maryland learned the hard way just how lethal Alabama can be when it is, in fact, hitting outside shots. The Crimson Tide hit 16-of-33 attempts from deep against the Terrapins in a dominant 96-77 victory. Next up for the Crimson Tide is a game with No. 11 seed UCLA. The Bruins have struggled to defend the 3-point line all season.
- Ask Maryland coach Mark Turgeon what it’s like to have ten dudes come of the pine and just rain hellfire down on you, three points at a time.
- Because no one put a beat-down on the Turtles this year like ‘Bama did — it was the worst beating of the year and the most points UMD surrendered.
- From ESPN’s reseeding project:
....The Crimson Tide play fast but not reckless. They’re big and strong. They’re playing top-three defense too. Jahvon Quinerly, a former five-star recruit who began his career at Villanova, finished Monday’s contest with 14 points and 11 assists off the bench; John Petty Jr. and Jaden Shackelford combined to score 41 points. You won’t find a team in the Sweet 16 that Alabama can’t beat right now.
Jahvon Quinerly is back to playing the type of basketball that he displayed on the AAU circuit with Sports U.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 23, 2021
Has been ELITE.
Alabama can win the whole damn thing. https://t.co/2CVZtr52MW
- Speaking of Q, he almost set an Alabama NCAA Tournament record with his 11 assists.
If you’re like me, it’s been hard to just do a quick google search for an updated bracket with TV times and coverage, including streaming options. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.
- Aaron has been covering hoops for the past decade (esp. at UConn), and he’s written for Fox Sports MBB for years. He’s spoken with tons of ‘croots, AAU folks, and the like, and they are drooling for a chance to play in this system.
- The Big Ten absolutely stunk it up this year — just one team remains in the Sweet 16, but it’s a good one, Michigan. Still, it’s had many asking “Was the B1G” overrated all along?” What has two thumbs and provided a definitive answer to this question two months ago? This guy.
Hell yeah, they are.
- The Big 10’s dramatic underperformance aside, this has been one of the weirdest tourneys in memory. More double-digit seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 than in any other year. Ever.
At the same time, it’s also a chalk-heavy one: Michigan, Gonzaga, Baylor, Houston, Arkansas, and Alabama are still standing. So, it’s primarily those 4-9 seeds — the quality teams that should be winning — that are not getting Ws.
Does Alabama make its first-ever Final Four this year?
This poll is closed
Yes, by advancing over a long, athletic FSU team that can give ‘Bama trouble.
Yes, by beating a very good Michigan team with their superior depth and athleticism. Alabama is Final Four ready.
No, FSU is like Mizzou — when they are on, they are very tough to beat in the post. And the ‘Noles are just too much in the paint.
No. Even with Livers absent, Juwan Howard has done an amazing job with this UM team — they were mentioned alongside Gonzaga and Baylor all year for a reason.
No. Asking ‘Bama to win nine games in a row was just too much. The Crimson Tide run out of gas against Mick Cronin’s well-coached UCLA team.
That’s it for this week’s edition. Two games is all we need folks: Beat UCLA and the winner of FSU/Michigan, and Alabama can advance to its first ever Final Four. Just one win would tie ‘Bama for its best finish ever — another Elite 8 appearance. And I believe in this team.
#BlueCollarBasketball can get it done. We’ll see you next week, win or lose.