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    This team is one of, if not the best in Alabama men’s basketball history. With the regular season nearly at a close, the Crimson Tide are the second-ranked squad in the country, well on their way to breaking the program’s single-season win record, and have already claimed an outright SEC regular season crown.

    On the court, things have been fantastic. Off of it, this season has been shrouded in controversy. It appears that Brandom Miller and Jaden Bradley are still playing, which is a massive boost to Alabama’s title odds. Whether that’s right is up for debate, but the depth and talent on this roster are not.

    Last National Championship: None

    Last Final Four: None

    2023 Title Odds: +750 (as of March 2, 2023)

    Why Alabama Will Make a Run

    Alabama is one of the country’s best offensive and defensive teams, a recipe that generally leads to success. They’re incredibly efficient defensively – the Crimson Tide have the third-most effective field goal percentage defense in the country, according to T-Rank. Alabama isn’t as efficient offensively, but with the number of possessions this team generates, it scores enough to rank fourth in the NCAA in points per game (83.6).

    In the single-elimination madness that is the NCAA Tournament, it can be incredibly important to have at least one guy who can completely take over a game and get your team over the line. Alabama has multiple players capable of this, but if anyone fulfills this role, it’ll most likely be Miller. He’s done it already this season, and the freshman’s incredible versatility makes him a nightmare to guard.

    Why Alabama Will Exit Early

    The Crimson Tide play with the second-fastest adjusted tempo in the nation, according to KenPom. They want to maximize the number of possessions, speed up their opponent, and force them into quick, bad decisions. This is great when it’s working, but there have been times this season when teams that prefer a slower pace have imposed their will on Alabama and caused problems.

    In Alabama’s last loss to Tennessee on Feb. 15, it scored a season-low 59 points and shot just 48 field-goal attempts, well below its SEC-leading average of 62 per game. The Crimson Tide needed overtime to surpass 10-win South Carolina by two points on Feb. 22, requiring a 41-point save a job from Miller to salvage the victory. The Volunteers and Gamecocks both play two of the slowest tempos in the SEC, and Oklahoma, who toppled the Tide in January, 93-69, is ranked 282nd in KenPom’s adjusted tempo.

    If this team is paired with one that likes to minimize possessions and grind out games, and its opponent is allowed to dictate the pace, then that could spell sayonara for Alabama.

    What It’ll Take to Win


    Two of Alabama’s starters have ties to a capital murder case that has two of its other, now-former players currently in jail without bond. No matter how this season ends in Tuscaloosa, this team will be forever linked to the horrific murder of Jamea Jonae Harris.

    The scrutiny on Nate Oats, Miller, Bradley, and the university brass is more than fair, but the pressure hasn’t changed much. Miller and Bradley are suiting up every night – neither has been charged with a crime, and the Crimson Tide are not punishing them.

    AP Photo/Sam Craft

    A deep run in March will require excellent performances from Miller and Bradley, Miller in particular as the team’s leading scorer, best deep threat, and one of its top rebounders. The longer this team lasts in March and the more points Miller scores, the louder the criticism will ring. The talent and play style are there for this team to win the program’s first national championship. Still, with all the noise off the court, Alabama must go fully insular to dodge debilitating distractions.


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    1 comment

    1. Alabama has the best players in the tournament. They play good defense and can shoot the eyes 👀 out of it. ROLL TIDE. I’ve never said this before.

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