Alabama Basketball looks to get over the hump

Grand Canyon v Alabama
Grand Canyon v Alabama / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Can Alabama buck the trend?

Heading into Alabama’s Sweet 16 matchup against North Carolina out in Los Angeles, the Tide will have to do something it hasn’t done all year. Can Nate Oats’ squad get over the hump?

It won’t be easy, but it is certainly possible. While Alabama has been blown out multiple times in spots like these, it has also played a couple of competitive games against comparable opponents.

Back in December, Bama faced another 1-seed in Purdue. At a neutral site in Toronto, Bama played the Boilermakers tough but fell 92-86. The Tide led at the half and trailed by just one possession with under a minute left in one of the closest games Purdue has played all year. 

In its very next game, Alabama played a true road game against a top-10 team in Creighton and took the Bluejays down to the wire as well. In another contest that was tight throughout, Bama and Creighton were tied at the half. The Crimson Tide held a lead for much of the second half, going up by as much as six. The home team would regain control down the stretch, but Alabama never went away, and at one point had the ball with a chance to tie it in an eventual 85-82 loss. Creighton ultimately earned a 3-seed in the Tournament and is still dancing along with the Tide. 

Since then, Bama has been largely uncompetitive against good teams in unfamiliar environments. It will have to find a way to rekindle what it had in December, and then find a little extra, if it wants to beat the Tar Heels.