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Brandon Miller Leads Tide Past Mizzou to SEC Tournament Finals

All-everything Brandon Miller led the Tide to a 72-61 victory over Missouri in the SEC Semifinals. Bama improved to 28-5 overall while Missouri fell to 24-9

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament Semifinals - Alabama vs Missouri
The dynamic duo, Brandon Miller and Nate Oats
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The number one seed Alabama Crimson Tide defeated Missouri 72-61 on Saturday to reach the finals of the SEC Tournament. Bama will play Texas A&M Sunday at noon CT. Alabama improved to 28-5 while the Tigers fell to 24-9. The Aggies defeated Vanderbilt and now have a season record of 25-8.


For the second straight day, coach Nate Oats sent out a starting five of Mark Sears, Jahvon Quinerly, Charles Bediako, Noah Clowney, and Brandon Miller. Quinerly, the SEC co-sixth man of the year, has replaced Jaden Bradley in the starting lineup.

Bama was once again ice cold from three-point range but were able to do enough in the lane to build a 26-16 lead of with 3:30 left in the half.

However, about that time Miller was called for his second foul, and spent the rest of the half on the bench.

Bradley was a bright spot in the period, getting to the rim and scoring. The Tigers were able to close within two at break by virtue of a three-point shot that was really a miracle heave, as the shooter was going out of bounds in the corner.

At the half the Tide shoot 13-30 for 43%, but only 2-15 for 13% from behind the arc, and made 3-4 free throws. ‘Bama had 19 rebounds, six offensively, one block one steal, eight assists, and nine turnovers. Clowney led the way with 11 points and Miller had eight rebounds.

Mizzu shot 12-33 for 36, 4-12 from three for 33%, and 1-1 from the charity stripe. The Tigers had 12 rebounds, four steals, five assists, and only two turnovers.

The Tide sent out the same starting lineup for the second period. Missouri was able to grab the lead early, but could never extend it beyond two points, despite Bama still unable to hit from three-point range.

With 14:49 left the Tigers led 37-36, and the Tide was 2-19 from behind the arc.

Clowney put the Tide ahead 41-39 with a hoop. And after MU tied things up, Miller sunk a long three-pointer for a 44-41 lead with 11:29 left. The superstar freshman then hit another to build the lead to five, and Noah Gurley joined the party with a triple of his own for a 50-42 lead with 9:34 left.

The ice-cold Sears finally made one from deep (his only make in nine attempts) to give Bama a 57-54 lead with 6:01 left.

The way the Tide was defending, and Missouri was shooting, the game was as good as over. Clowney, having one of his best offensive games in several weeks, hit another from long range and Miller made another.

When Miller wasn't draining long range jumpers he was facilitating with some Magic Johnson-like passes to teammates. Gurley had a dunk to end the scoring and the Tide took home the 72-61 victory.

In the second half Bama shot 15-27 for 56%, heated up to 6-12 for 50% from three, and made 5-7 of free throws. Overall the Tide finished 28-58 for 49%, 8-27 for 30% from three, and 5-7 from the stripe. Attempting only seven free throws in a college basketball game these days is unheard of. Pat Adams and crew allowed Missouri to be extremely physical and handsy all game. Alabama finished with 44 rebounds, 18 assists, three steals, four blocks and, yikes, 17 turnovers.

Miller filled the stat sheet on 8-11 shooting, scoring 20 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, handing out four assists, with a steal and a block. Clowney shot 7-11 and scored 19 points in his biggest output in several games. Bediako had his second straight double digit scoring game with 10 pines and had five rebounds, a block, a steal, and an assist. Sears managed nine points and had two assists. Quinerly led the team with seven assists and scored one point. Gurley has seen his minutes increase during the tournament and added five points and five rebounds in 19 minutes of action.


This was another game where Miller put the team on his back to lead them to victory when things weren't going great. Sears played 30 minutes and was only 2-10 from the floor, including 1-9 from three point range. Quinerly, who has been scoring in double figures regularly over the last month, was held scoreless and shot 0-9 with 0-4 from three point range. Rylan Griffen’s production has disappeared over the last month and he failed to score in 12 minutes of action. Miller, Clowney, and Bediako combined to shoot 20-27 from the field while all the rest of the team from the floor while the rest of the team shot 8-30 together.

For the second time in three years, Nate Oats and his team are going for the double-double of SEC Regular season and SEC Tournament Champions. What a turnaround Oats has led at the Capstone.

The Tide will play Texas A&M at noon CT on ESPN for the trophy, and likely number one overall seed — a chance made even better by Kansas’s semifinal defeat today in the B12 tournament

Roll Tide