Alabama Basketball: Elite Eight Absent SEC teams, 1-seeds


A bizarre, whirlwind of a Sweet 16 victimized top-overall seed Alabama Basketball, as well as several other teams. The college basketball weekend continues this evening, and it features one of the strangest Elite Eight fields in tournament history.

The Sweet 16 round saw Alabama Basketball get eliminated by 5-seed San Diego State. It also saw fellow 1-seed Houston fall to 5-seed Miami. Within an hour of each other, the last two no. 1 seeds in this tournament were bounced. This marked the first time in modern tournament history that none of the top seeds made it to the Elite Eight.

Purdue infamously did not even survive the first round, being clipped by 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson in what was arguably the biggest upset in the tournament’s illustrious history. Kansas fell to 8-seed Arkansas in the round of 32, meaning just two of the four no. 1 seeds made it out of the first weekend. On Friday night in the Sweet 16, the last of the top seeds went down.

Alabama Basketball joins SEC in tournament woes

The Elite Eight will also not have a single SEC team. On Selection Sunday, Vanderbilt was the first team out of the tournament in the league. The Commodores earned a no. 3 seed in the NIT and fell in the third round.

Mississippi State earned a no. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but was slotted to compete in a play-in game. The Bulldogs fell to Pitt 60-59 in the play-in round, failing to make the final field of 64.

Texas A&M finished the regular season and SEC Tournament as the second-best team in the league, earning a no. 7 seed in the tourney. Buzz Williams’ squad had a disappointing showing, falling to 10-seed Penn State 76-59 in a largely uncompetitive first round game.

Auburn earned a 9-seed in the tournament, and advanced after beating 8-seed Iowa in the opening round. The Tigers squared off against top-seeded Houston in Birmingham, playing well for a half. Auburn took a substantial lead into the locker room, but the Cougars turned the dial up after halftime and ran away from Auburn for an 81-64 win.

6-seed Kentucky knocked off 11-seed Providence in the first round. However, it fell in the second round despite putting forth a respectable performance. Kentucky lost 75-69 to a no. 3 seed Kansas State team that is currently still playing.

Missouri was awarded with a 7-seed on Selection Sunday, and beat 10-seed Utah State 76-65 to move to the round of 32. There, the Tigers ran into a buzzsaw in 15-seed Princeton. The Ivy League’s tournament darlings picked Missouri apart en route to a 78-63 upset.

Three SEC teams remained alive entering the tournament’s second weekend. Arkansas, an 8-seed, beat 9-seed Illinois and toppled 1-seed Kansas to reach the Sweet 16. Tennessee, a 4-seed, took down 13-seed Louisiana and 5-seed Duke to get to the second weekend.

Both of these SEC teams went down on the first day of the second weekend. Arkansas’ season ended at the hands of a very good, no. 4 seeded UConn team that blew out the Hogs 88-65. Tennessee fell in shocking fashion to 9-seed Florida Atlantic by a score of 62-55.

Alabama Basketball woke up on Friday as the last SEC team standing. Bama beat 16-seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and 8-seed Maryland to reach the Sweet 16. The Crimson Tide’s 71-64 loss to San Diego State on Friday night meant the official end of the college basketball season for the SEC.

Of the eight teams still remaining in the Big Dance, Alabama Basketball has played three. Of course, San Diego State is still alive after eliminating the Crimson Tide. UConn and Gonzaga, who were responsible for two of Bama’s three non-conference losses in the regular season, will square off in the Elite Eight.

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