Alabama basketball possesses all the makings of a great Spring Break trip. Ups and downs, drama and controversy, stories to remember and stories to forget, and shades of greatness and disappointments.
As many college and high school students head off to Spring Break over the coming weeks, I was floored by the similarities between Alabama’s basketball program and the long-awaited, much anticipated break that divides winter and spring.
It all started with a memorable road trip. Eagerness to hit the city and start the year off right. A clean sweep of Oregon State and Villanova in one of basketball’s most sacred venues. Next came the night(s) to forget. Losses to Cincinnati at the buzzer, Dayton at home, and VCU. The Tide would get a short-lived sigh of relief after a win against Texas Tech, but soon the lowest of the low. Losses at home to Mercer and Tulane. The night that no one speaks of to this day.
Finally, a ray of sunshine; a new morning. Highlighted with wins over Tennessee and a wild win at home against Kentucky. Next, a controversial loss in Knoxville with a possible missed foul call as time expired. Salt rubbed in the wound only days later as the Tide fell to Auburn in a abysmal game in Auburn Arena.
Four wins in a row and then a disappointing loss to LSU in triple-overtime, then redemption against Auburn in Tuscaloosa. Losses to Florida and Ole Miss that slipped out of Alabama’s hands after sustained scoring droughts.
Finally, the highlight of the year, in the final regular season game. A miracle shot that shouldn’t have been required.
Alabama basketball is like Spring Break. It’s a much needed drink in the dry desert that is called football offseason. It’s the time between the frigid winter and the scorching fall; the time between recruiting and spring practice. So, Coach Grant and his team head to Nashville in the coming days for the SEC Tournament. Will the trip end in agony, or will Alabama live to party another day and keep their waning tournament hopes alive? That is yet to be determined. In the meantime, enjoy the break.
Follow Nick on Twitter.