Alabama Crimson Tide, How Sweet It Is!

Grand Canyon v Alabama
Grand Canyon v Alabama / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

How sweet it is that this Alabama basketball team is one of the last 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament. Exactly a year after losing to San Diego St, the Tide was able to survive a very physical matchup and leave Spokane with a 72-61 win over Grand Canyon. Mark Sears had his biggest game in an Alabama uniform dropping 26 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and six dimes. The defensive effort for a second game in a row was phenomenal and despite losing Latrell Wrightsell others stepped up in big moments.

The game was fast-paced and ugly, but a very entertaining up-and-down affair all night. Grand Canyon has athletes and not too many teams can run with the Tide for two halves. Despite foul trouble for most of the game and it being a very physical game, Alabama didn't shy away from the moment. What Mo Dioubate was able to contribute late with big buckets, rebounds, and clutch free-throws may have been the difference in the game. For most of the season this was the type of game Alabama wouldn't have won, but being in the tournament seems to have had this team flip a switch to a different level.

With the win the Tide is going to back-to-back Sweet 16s for the first time since the 1990-91 season. They will have to play a much more crisp game against North Carolina to win Thursday night in Los Angeles. but what a ride it has been to this point. There have been so many ups and downs for this Alabama team but they have put everything together at the right time of the season. This is the defensive effort that Nate Oats has been begging for all year and honestly from here on out this team is playing with house money. Hopefully, Latrell Wrightsell will be able to return for the rest of the run as his shooting abilities will be needed going forward. When this team plays to its potential the sky is the limit and we are seeing it all come together for this Alabama team at the perfect time.