Alabama men’s basketball is four wins away from its first Final Four in program history. To get to Houston, though, the Crimson Tide will need to take care of its opening game in March Madness and that means beating massive underdog Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Alabama is favored by 24.5 points per The Lines).
Alabama is coming off a dominant showing in the SEC Tournament last week in Nashville earning the No. 1 overall seed. The Crimson Tide (29-5, 16-2 Southeastern Conference) got a favorable draw in Birmingham as part of the South region. Its first two games will be played in Legacy Arena at the BJCC in front of a mostly pro-Tide crowd.
Through injuries, the Islanders (24-10, 14-4 Southland Conference) won its conference tournament and knocked off Southeast Missouri State to earn a shot at becoming the second No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 (UMBC over Virginia in 2018 being the other). Texas A&M-CC spoke about the chance to “shock the world” on Wednesday.
Tip-off is set for approximately 2:15 p.m. CT on CBS. The winner will play No. 8 Maryland, who beat nine-seed Virginia, 67-65.
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–Alabama 37, Texas A&M-CC 23 (7:20 remaining): Sears swished a trio of 3-pointers and TAMU answered with two of its own. A fun sequence extends the Alabama lead to 14 points.
–Alabama 24, Texas A&M-CC 17 (9:39 remaining): Clowney leads all scorers with 10 points but he also leads with three fouls. He’ll head to the bench.
–Alabama 22, Texas A&M-CC 15 (11:15 remaining): Owen Dease is keeping the Islanders close. He has seven points, including the first 3-pointer of the day for Texas A&M-CC and will have the ball after a media timeout.
–Alabama 19, Texas A&M-CC 10 (12:50 remaining): Alabama’s bigs have combined for 16 points, with Bediako scoring thrice inside. The Tide has four bench players on the court with just one starter — first Clowney, now Bediako — and hasn’t seen a drop-off in play.
–Alabama 9, Texas A&M-CC 4 (15:47 remaining): First media timeout in this one and Alabama seems quicker and stronger than the Islanders, not surprising considering the 1/16 split in the sides’ seeding.
–Alabama 9, Texas A&M-CC 0 (17:23 remaining): Clowney hits a pair of 3-pointers from the right elbow and then converts one of two free throws for seven of the Tide’s opening nine points.
–Alabama 2, Texas A&M-CC 0 (19:40 remaining): Bediako had a few highlight alley-oops last week and he gets another one to open the scoring here as he swishes a lob from Miller.
—Alabama will run out the same starting five it used in Nashville: Mark Sears, Jahvon Quinerly, Charles Bediako, Noah Clowney and Brandon Miller.
—The Islanders will start Trevian Tennyson, Jalen Jackson, Simeon Fryer, Isaac Mushila and De’Lazarus Keys.