clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Champions. Again: Crimson Tide Smacks Around the Aggies to Win the SEC Tournament Crown

For the second time in three years the Alabama Crimson Tide has won both the regular season basketball title as well as the tournament crown. The Tide is now 29-5

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament Championship - Alabama vs Texas A&M
Coach Nate Oats is getting used to cutting down the nets.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The best team in Alabama basketball history improved to 29-5 by defeating Texas A&M in the finals of the SEC Tournament on Sunday afternoon.

The Tide won 82-63, running away from the Aggies late. For the second time in three years Nate Oats and his squad pulled the double championship, winning the regular season and tournament crowns. TAMU fell to 25-9 on the season.

Now Bama waits for the selection show at 5 p.m. tonight to see their overall seed and destination.

The team is definitely in line for the number one overall, and should be in Birmingham for the first round, followed by Louisville in round two.


The Tide continued using the starting lineup that they used throughout tue tournament: Jahvon Quinerly, Mark Sears, Charles Bediako, Noah Clowney, and Brandon Miller made up the quintet. Since Quinerly has replaced Jaden Bradley at the beginning of games Bama hasn’t been plagued by the early game slow starts that had become the recent norm.

After a poor shooting day yesterday, the Tide came out hot today. Sears, who has been especially cold, hit a three-point shot right off for a quick 3-0 lead. Bediako came to life the whole tournament and showed off his skill set by blocking a shot on one end, running the court, and scoring on the other end.

Quinerly didn't make a single field goal on Saturday but made his three-pointer at the 17:46 mark, and Q early scoring is always a great sign for the Tide.

Miller began the game acting as more of a field general than pure scorer: crisp passing and directing the floor. Then he hit a three point shot with 15:40 left, and the lead was out to 16-7. It looked like the start to a nice run, but refball would soon emerge.

Miller was called for two charges a couple of minutes a part, with one being dubious at best, and came out of the game. Fortunately the Tide’s defense, anchored by Bediako down low, was relentless. That was helped by Rylan Griffen breaking out of his shooting slump with a three-pointer, and Quinerly knocked down a couple of more.

With 9:48 left the lead was 24-13 for the Tide.

Miller returned with 7:55 left in the half. Bediako kept making his presence known on both ends of the court, playing some the best basketball of his Alabama career this weekend. When Miller made two free throws with 4:10 left, Bama had a 33-17 lead with the Aggies going almost 10 minutes without a field goal. As is their norm, A&M did continue to get to the foul line. Miller was called for his third foul with 2:33 left and had to sit for the rest of the period.

by halftime the had Tide shot 11-27 for 41%, with 6-18 for 33% from deep and 6-10 from the charity stripe. Bama had 21 rebounds, seven offensively, with five blocks, three steals, six assists, and seven turnovers. Quinerly had 13 points on 5-8 shooting while Miller had eight with six boards and two assists. The Aggies shot 6-29 for 21%, 1-4 from three point range 10-12 from the line, and had 20 rebounds, nine offensively with three steals, two assists, and eight turnovers.

Bama used the same starting lineup to begin the second half. TAM scored first to pull within nine, in a game that it felt like they should have been down at least 20. Quinerly, Miller, Clowney, and Bediako made sure the Tide didn't let the lead diminish any further.

With 12:35 left the score was 47-38 and Miller began heating up, scoring 11 points in a six-minute stretch. Even technical fouls on Quinerly and Oats couldn't slow down the Tide. When Miller took off from the foul line and hammered home a defiant dunk the game was over and Miller had sewn up the MVP award. Quinerly’s little brother, Jaden, even got in the scoring column making one of two free throws for the last Tide point of the game.

In the second half, the Tide shot 16-39 for 41%, 6-18 from three again, and made 10-12 free throws. Overall Bama finished 27-66 for 41%, 12-36 for 33% from deep, and 16-22 for 73% from the stripe. The Tide had 50 rebounds, 21 of them offensive, 16 assists, seven blocks, six steals, and 12 turnovers.

Miller scored 23 despite shooting 5-20 from the field, 4-14 from three point range, and 9-10 from the free throw line. The super star had another double-double with 12 rebounds and added four assists and three steals, all while fighting foul trouble and only playing 30 minutes. Quinerly shot 8-14, 4-8 from deep, and scored 22 with three assists.

Bediako was a stalwart all weekend and had another double-double with 12 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, and countless shots altered. The 7’0” Canadian even added a couple of assists and the Tide shared the ball unbelievably the whole tournament. Clowney was limited to 19 minutes with foul trouble but had enough time to score nine points, snatch 11 rebounds, and dish out three assists. Griffen got his touch back and had nine points in 20 minutes.

Miller was player of the game and Bediako took the hard hat.

Texas A&M shot 13-35 for 37% in the second including 4-11 for 36% from three and made 10-12 free throws. Overall the Aggies shot only 30% on 19-64 from the floor and 5-15 from behind the arc. Buzz Ball relies on getting freebies, and A&M got to the line plenty, where they made 20-24 free throws (83%). A&M 37 rebounds, 17 offensively, only six assists, two blocks, five steals, and 13 turnovers.

All-SEC guard Wade Taylor IV was held to 13 pints on 3-11 shooting, while Tyrece Bradford shot 4-16 for 12 points and Dexter Dennis 4-12 for 14 points. Those three had big games last week when the Aggies beat the Tide in the last (meaningless) regular season game.


After the game Miller said “ the mission is not done, we have a few more games left” and that “being home (he is from the Nashville area) was huge, I had my whole family here with me.” When asked about the possibility of playing in Birmingham Miller said that the Bama fans would definitely show up there.

Bediako, Quinerly, and Miller were all named to the All-Tournament team with Miller also being named the Most Valuable Player. The were joined by Taylor IV, Ezra Manjon from Vanderbilt, and D’Moi Hodge of Missouri.

This was the Tide’s eighth SEC Tournament title, second most behind only Kentucky (an actual Blue Blood, not a made-up one-year wonder). Oats has now won nine straight games in the city of Nashville, three at Vanderbilt, and six in the SEC Tournament. The 29 wins the team has is the most in school history.

Miller has shown exactly what I felt this summer when I saw a team practice. After 30 minutes I texted the group and told them that Brandon was the best player to ever wear the Crimson uniform. I’ve been going to games in Coleman — nee Memorial- Coliseum for over 50 years and have seen them all but the Rocket Eight.

I stand by my proclamation. Miller is the best player to ever wear a crimson jersey.

Quinerly battled back from a devastating injury and embraced his role and he now appears back to being March JQ. Bediako is blossoming in front of our eyes, Clowney is a likely first round pick, and the other pieces take turns shining.

This is a team built for a long run, with tough veteran guards, a superstar, and plenty of depth and versatility. As Oats as said many times the defense wins game and the three-point shot just determine by how much.

What an exciting time to be an Alabama basketball fan!

Roll Tide