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NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen: #2 Alabama vs #11 UCLA Game Thread

2-seed Alabama Crimson Tide (26-6, 19-2 SEC) vs 11-seed UCLA Bruins (20-9, 13-6 PAC-12)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Maryland at Alabama Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament and your Alabama Crimson Tide is about to tip-off for a spot in the Elite Eight. If that doesn’t get you fired up, then you ain’t a fan of Alabama athletics. The Tide will be going up against college basketball royalty tonight - the UCLA Bruins. A victory over the program that John Wooden made famous would send Alabama to its second ever Elite Eight appearance, which would certainly end any arguments about the greatest season in Alabama basketball history.

With UCLA sporting a similar squad as Maryland’s was, expect Alabama to go with a smaller starting five again tonight. It’s very likely that Josh Primo gets reinserted into the starting group, but either way, he’ll get plenty of run. I can promise you that John Petty, Herb Jones, and Jaden Shackelford will be starting, Jahvon Quinerly will be providing a major lift off of the bench, Jordan Bruner and Juwan Gary will be splitting time at the five, Keon Ellis and Alex Reese will be playing big roles, and James Rojas will be doing a lot of the dirty work.

The time is now, y’all. SEC Coach of the Year Nate Oats has worked wonders with this team, and they are a game away from tying about the only school record they haven’t already broken or streak they haven’t already ended. It’s a great time to be a Gump.

The game will tip-off at about 6:15 PM CDT and will be televised on TBS. The Tide is a 6.5-point favorite.