The Crimson Tide’s victory came almost a dozen years to the day of its last tournament win when Mark Gottfried’s Alabama team knocked off Marquette 90-85 on March 16, 2006 before getting upended by UCLA in the second round that season.
Making it to the second weekend of the tournament won’t be easy for the Crimson Tide as the Wildcats have been one of the best teams in the country all season.
Collin Sexton led Alabama with 25 points and 6 assists. They’ll try to upset No. 1 Villanova in the East Region on Saturday.
But the Crimson Tide had a nice showing in the SEC Tournament and were able to secure an at-large bid.
In the ACC Tournament, however, the Hokies were beating Notre Dame by 21 in the second half before collapsing in a 71-65 loss.
Things weren’t almost as easy for the Crimson Tide, who needed their freshman backcourt mates and a serious uptick in defensive intensity in the late going to advance to the second round for the first time since 2006.
Down the stretch clutch shooting from Petty and Sexton propelled the Tide.
Freshman guard Collin Sexton struggled early but recovered as Alabama inched ahead in the second half. The senior point guard has had his share of ups and downs. “John Cal, who I’ve known forever was at the game”. And rather than force shots late, Sexton tried to get to the rim. He did a nice job carving up Virginia Tech’s defense in the second half.
Keys to the Game1. They ended up hitting 59.6 per cent and 14-for-27 from 3-point range. Donta Hall, who was a game-time decision, added 10 points. The Tigers spent Friday through Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., where they were swept by LSU in three games. Over the final few games, VT did show signs of improvement on the glass against some of the conference’s smaller teams. The line has yet to be released however, I’m initially leaning towards taking Villanova as long as they are not favored by more than double-digits.
Dazon Ingram of Alabama against Chris Clarke of Virginia Tech. They had 28 free throw attempts, while Alabama had 15. No team will beat the Wildcats shooting like that. From there, Alabama would knock down 9-of-11 free throws to seal the win. He muscled his way into the lane for a layup, and then gave Alabama a 68-64 lead with 6:48 left with a pair of free throws. It wiped out a basket that would have cut the Crimson Tide’s lead to two (and followed an earlier controversial call against Sexton that went Robinson’s way). The Sooners (18-14), though, lost for the seventh time in nine games and 12th in their past 16.
He especially also likes the way Wilson – “an elite level leader”, Williams said – has impacted the Hokies on the defensive end.
Yet Alabama hung around even with Sexton limited to a single bucket. In the first 17 games, he didn’t lead the Hokies in scoring once.
For Virginia Tech, the presence of Justin Robinson who averages 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game is very important.
The fact it took Sexton to embrace Johnson’s message until March hardly matters.