Alabama Crimson Tide Elite!

Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

For just the second time in program history Alabama is elite and one of the final 8 teams remaining in the NCAA tournament. This is an amazing feeling as a diehard Alabama basketball fan because moments like this are so rare. All the tough losses in November and December got the Tide ready to win tough games in March. Beating this North Carolina team was going to be a tough task and it became even tougher without Latrell Wrightsell in the lineup. This team however came out focused, ready to go, and answered every Tarheels' run Thursday night. It looked a little worrisome when Carolina ended the first half on a large run and a 7-point halftime lead, but the heart of the Tide prevailed.

What Grant Nelson was able to accomplish in the second half is what legends are made of. Despite a quiet second half from Mark Sears, quite a few other players steppers up in the clutch. Rylan Griffen and Aaron Estrada were masterful with clutch shooting and the defense stepped up in key situations. All-American player RJ Davis had his worst shooting game of the season, and the Alabama defense contributed greatly to his struggles Thursday night.

What this Alabama team has transitioned into since the start of the NCAA tournament has been a joy to watch. The defensive intensity and toughness on the boards is what we have yearned for all season. Now the Tide finds themselves one game away from the Final Four with a rematch looming on Saturday against Clemson who came into Tuscaloosa and got a rare road win in Coleman Coliseum. This has been a very special run and you can tell this team is not just satisfied with getting to this point. Saturday night can't get here soon enough.