Alabama Basketball: Big Dance Round of 32 Update

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

On Saturday morning, with Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament complete, many Alabama basketball fans have one primary question. Will Brandon Miller play against Maryland and how close will he be to 100%? Actually, that is two questions, but it is one big concern about the Crimson Tide’s best player.

We’ll get back to that below. First, let’s run through Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament. In the transition from 64 teams to 32 teams, Round 1 can be labeled ‘eventful’.

The SEC continued its good start on Day 2 of the Big Dance, with Kentucky dispensing with Providence. The SEC’s record is now 6-2 in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The only SEC duds are Mississippi State which lost a play-in game and the Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies were outclassed by Penn State 76-59.

It will get tougher for the SEC on Saturday and Sunday. Auburn has 1-seed Houston, though the Cougars will be without their best player. Arkansas also gets a 1-seed; the Kansas Jayhawks.  Tennessee will play Duke and the Blue Devils are one of CBB’s hottest teams. Missouri must contend with Princeton; the pesky 15-seed that knocked out Arizona. Kentucky will likely not be favored against Kansas State.

Alabama Basketball might have one of the easier games for an SEC team. This is not to suggest that Maryland is incapable of pulling off an upset.

NCAA Tournament Upsets

There are always upsets in the Big Dance. There were momentous ones in this year’s Round 1. Of the three upsets, probably the least shocking was Furman beating 4-seed Virginia. The other two were stunning. First, Princeton outplayed 2-seed Arizona to a 59-55 victory. Friday night, little, and this is meant literally, Fairleigh Dickenson (FDU) knocked off 1-seed Purdue, 63-58. FDU is a small school, but the ‘little’ refers to FDU having the shortest, average-height roster in the Big Dance. The Boilermakers have a giant, but FDU was the quicker, bolder, harder-hustling team.

Top Seeds going into Round 2, Alabama Basketball is joined by …

Note: The higher seeds are in bold. Other seeds are in parentheses.

  • The 1-seeds are: Alabama vs. Maryland (8); Houston vs. Auburn (9) and Kansas vs. Arkansas (8)
  • The 2-seeds are: Texas vs. Penn State (10); Marquette vs. Michigan State (7) and UCLA vs. Northwestern (7)
  • The 3-seeds are: Gonzaga vs. TCU (6); Xavier vs. Pitt (11); Baylor vs. Creighton (6); Kansas State vs. Kentucky (6)
  • The 4-seeds are: Tennessee vs. Duke (5); U Conn vs. St Mary’s (5); Indiana vs. Miami (5)

Other Round 2 Games

  • 5-seed San Diego State vs. 13-seed Furman
  • 7-seed Missouri vs. 15-seed Princeton
  • 9-seed Florida Atlantic vs. 16-seed Fairleigh Dickenson

An up-to-date NCAA Tournament Bracket is available here.

Next. Five reasons Bama will make a deep run. dark

With a win over Maryland, Alabama Basketball will meet the winner of San Diego State vs. Furman. Based on late Friday night chatter, Brandon Miller is expected to play against Maryland.