Alabama Crimson Tide NCAA Tournament First Rounds

The Alabama Crimson Tide is 15-7 in NCAA Tournament first round games. Some of the results have been shockers.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide is 15-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round games going back to its first in 1975. Friday night in Spokane, Alabama Basketball will try to make the record 16-7 against a better-than-good Charleston team.

Most predictions have the Crimson Tide beating the Charleston Cougars by double-digit points. There are few reasons to believe the predictions are wrong.

What does elicit caution in the minds of some Alabama basketball fans is the Tide's history of some shocking NCAA Tournament First Round losses.

Three of the Crimson Tide's seven First Round losses were inexcusably bad. The first of the embarrassing losses came in 1983. The Crimson Tide was a 6-Seed facing 11-Seed Lamar in Houston. Alabama was a solid favorite over the Southland Conference's Lamar Cardinals. The only ranked teams Lamar had played all season were Houston and Louisville. Houston won by 34 points and Louisville beat Lamar by 25 points.

Against Alabama, Lamar assumed Houston's and Louisville's 'far-superior team' role. Alabama was crushed 73-50.

The Tide's two other demoralizing NCAA Tournament First Round losses came against South Alabama in 1989 and Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005. Alabama was a 6-Seed against the 11-Seed, USA Jaguars in Atlanta. Although the two-point loss (86-84) was a game Alabama could have won, the loss to a previously believed to be inferior, in-state program was shocking to most Alabama fans.

Alabama Crimson Tide loss that lingers

Another NCAA Tournament First Round loss that remains stuck in the minds of many Alabama fans came in 2005. Alabama was a 5-Seed playing 12-Seed Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Alabama lost 83-73 to a coach that Alabama fans came to detest in subsequent seasons as he coached Tennessee and Auburn. That coach is still at Auburn, Bruce Pearl.

One more disappointing loss for the Crimson Tide happened in 2022 when 6-Seed Alabama lost to 11-Seed Notre Dame, 78-64.

Alabama does have a major First Round upset in its NCAA Tournament history. In the 1976, Big Dance the Crimson Tide opened against the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC was ranked at No. 5 in the AP Poll. Alabama, ranked No. 8 by the AP was not a big underdog, but the game's outcome surprised the world of college basketball. Alabama beat Dean Smith's Tar Heels, 79-64.

Note: Alabama's NCAA Tournament history provided by Sports Reference