Alabama Basketball: Tide fans hope for a March Madness miracle


Alabama Basketball will take part in March Madness. On Sunday, Crimson Tide fans will learn the Tide’s opponent in what most certainly will be the West Bracket. Many Crimson Tide roundball fans are struggling with a season that suddenly, but unsurprisingly, feels like a failure.

Failure is too harsh a word. It is no small thing the Crimson Tide will be taking part in back-to-back ‘Big Dances’ for the first time in 15 seasons. Last season’s double championships, followed this season by victories over Gonzaga, Houston, Tennessee and Baylor fueled unrealistic expectations.

There was no replacement for last season’s defense from Herbert Jones and John Petty Jr – and late in the season, from Josh Primo as well. When Nimari Burnett was lost to injury, JD Davison was called on to be immediately great. That too was unrealistic. JD may be a one-and-done player based on NBA potential, but all the recently selected as All-SEC guards have current games far beyond Davison.

Nate Oats should not be given a pass for this season’s performance. It has been clear for a few weeks Oats does not know how to fix this team. That is okay, considering he is still learning as a head coach. Oats and the team got a bad break when Burnett went down. And in fairness to Oats, no one could have predicted a player who made threes at 50% last season in the SEC, would plummet to 27% this SEC season.

Without Burnett and an undependable senior leader in Quinerly, this season’s team probably came close to reaching its ‘actual’ rather than ‘hyped’ potential. If any two of the three most frustrating losses (Missouri, Georgia and Vandy in Tampa) had been Tide wins, we would not be talking much about this season’s failures.

Alabama Basketball Season Has Been Maddening

For Alabama roundball fans, the season has been maddening.  Predictions for March Madness are more of the same. Getting traction with any Big Dance optimism is not only a chore, trying to do so feels almost foolish.

After the Vandy game, one stalwart fan said, “I had little faith in the Tide and it was still too much.”

Note: Player stats in this post provided by

Next. Tide found a new low in Tampa. dark

Now Nate Oats, his staff and, at least six or seven of his players, must conjure up faith in themselves. Next Thursday or Friday, depending on the Tide’s bracket spot, the season starts over. Just maybe, for a game or two, or more, we will all be pleasantly amazed.