Alabama Basketball: Five reasons Tide will make a deep run in Big Dance

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

If the majority of college basketball experts and the most respected computer algorithms are correct, Alabama Basketball will do well in the NCAA Tournament. Expectations are so high for the Alabama Crimson Tide, a good run in the Big Dance should mean at least an Elite Eight game.

Getting to the Elite Eight would match the deepest Alabama has ever made it in an NCAA Tournament. The 2003-04 Crimson Tide did it, beating Southern Illinois, Stanford and Syracuse, before losing to U Conn. Stanford was a 1-seed that year and U Conn went on to win the National Championship.

It is impossible to predict how far Alabam Basketball will go this season. But the many Crimson Tide fans anticipating the Tide’s first Final Four appearance have good reason for optimism. More specifically, there are at least five good reasons.

Five Reasons Alabama Basketball Deep Run

  1. Charles Bediako has improved during the second half of the season. Bediako has always been a rim protector, but last season and early this season, he was out of position too often leading to foul trouble. His defensive footwork has improved and it has made him a better defender. Offensively, Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide’s playmakers understand how to maximize Bediako’s skills at the rim. The Tide’s big man averaged double-digit points in the three SEC Tournament games.
  2. Alabama might not be the best defensive team in the NCAA Tournament, but it is near the top. According to Ken Pomeroy’s calculations, the Crimson Tide is the third-best defensive team in the Big Dance. To win it all, teams need more than a great defense, but at the least, it takes a very good defense to finish on top. Alabama is very good defensively and has the depth to maintain defensive intensity throughout games.
  3. Jahvon Quinerly has become a key contributor as a starter. His toughness on the court motivates his teammates. His scoring has been a recent boost, with 85 points over the last six games, despite scoring only one point against Missouri. More important, has been his ball distribution. Quinerly had 30 assists in the Crimson Tide’s last six games.
  4. Brandon Miller may soon finish his Alabama basketball career, as the Crimson Tide’s best-ever player. Miller is capable of pouring in points in bunches. In the Tide’s last seven games, Miller has averaged over 23 points. But his contribution is far greater than points scored. Every team must scheme to slow him. When they have some success, Miller still finds ways to impact the game. In Alabama’s last five games, Miller had 51 rebounds, 18 assists and four blocks.
  5. This Alabama team is special. Such claims are often made about successful teams, but the claim is most appropriate for this season’s Crimson Tide. There are many proofs the claim has merit. One was Jahvon Quinerly content to be a sub for most of the season, and recently when Jaden Bradley recommended his own starting role should go to Quinerly. There is the enthusiasm of less-used players, Nimari Burnett, Nick Pringle and Rylan Griffen not only fully accepting their roles but as most exemplified by Noah Gurley stepping up when needed. This team has a special bond and it could be a difference-maker in the NCAA Tournament.

Next. Quinerly raises the Tide's ceiling.. dark

Pumping up the team just before a recent game, Crimson Tide assistant, Antoine Pettway said it best, “We all we got, we all we need.”