Alabama Basketball: ‘A season that ended too soon’


“A season that ended too soon” is what Alabama Basketball coach, Nate Oats said in Friday night’s post-game. It was just that. Too soon for Alabama Crimson Tide players. And too soon for Crimson Tide fans who first hoped and later believed Alabama would do something special in the NCAA Tournament.

Before discussing the Alabama basketball performance, credit must be given to San Diego State. The Aztecs are an experienced team, coached to stick to what they do best. This season, teams scoring less than 65 points on the Aztecs, lost all 20 times.

Against Alabama, the Aztecs were relentless and resilient. For much of the game, they were the tougher and smarter team. The obvious conclusion is, on Friday night, the best basketball team won.

Many across the college basketball world will not celebrate San Diego State winning. Buy they will joyfully celebrate Alabama losing. Some joining that celebration are not even college basketball fans. They just hate Alabama and Nate Oats – and everything Crimson Tide.

So be it.

Among Alabama basketball fans there will be questions. Some Tide fans will heap blame on Nate Oats or his system of play. I’ll skip the blame detail and just ask a couple of questions.

Before any questions, I suggest we all remember Alabama won 31 games, leaping past its former season best for the program at 28 wins. The Crimson Tide won its second, SEC double championships in three seasons. Much is right about Alabama Basketball.

There is no reason to believe the momentum will fade. More elite players are interested in Alabama basketball than ever before. Even without Brandon Miller and probably without Noah Clowney, Alabama will be an early favorite to win a similar number of games next season.

Alabama Basketball Question

The question almost all of us want answered is, does the Alabama Crimson Tide basketball program have a ceiling of making Sweet Sixteen, NCAA Tournament games? With the loss to San Diego State, the Alabama program is 1-9 in Sweet Sixteen games. Nate Oats is 0-2.

The ‘1’ is an oddity, given Alabama’s winning coach in that Sweet 16 game, is at best, the Crimson Tide’s fourth-best head coach ever. Or fifth, if the comparison goes back to the Johnny Dee era. That opinion of Mark Gottfried is offered as a reminder that luck is a factor in NCAA Tournament outcomes.

Maybe, with a little luck, Alabama could have prevailed against San Diego State, despite being outplayed. Instead, the Crimson Tide joined all the other Big Dance 1-seeds, in untimely exits.

dark. Next. Nick Saban and his Junior Leaders

There are other questions to ask about Alabama’s basketball future. We’ll save them for later.