Alabama Crimson Tide needs a Sweet 16 unlike almost all the others

A good idea for the Alabama Crimson Tide is to exclusively look forward and not back to the program's NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen history.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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On Thursday night, the Alabama Crimson Tide will be playing in its 10th Sweet Sixteen game. With one exception, Alabama Basketball needs a result unlike the program's previous experiences.

Make no mistake, 10 NCAA Tournament, Sweet Sixteen appearances is no small accomplishment. That is especially true for schools where basketball doesn't come first. For the record, Alabama made it to the NCAA Tournament, Regional Semi-Finals before the label of Sweet 16 was given to the last 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament. To get to the final 16 in 1976, the Crimson Tide needed just one win. It was a whopper in which Alabama easily beat Dean Smith and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Best Alabama Crimson Tide Men's Basketball Loss Ever

The next game for Alabama in the 1976 NCAA Tournament came close to being the Crimson Tide's greatest college basketball victory. The undefeated Indiana Hoosiers, coached by Bobby Knight became that season's National Champion. The Tide met the Hoosiers in Baton Rouge and lost 74-69.

More than just Crimson Tide fans later said the historic game was the Real Final that season. Numerous sources quoted Bobby Knight, who after winning the National Championship, said Alabama was the best team the Hoosiers played that season. Indiana was so good that all five starters became NBA players. The Hoosiers beat Michigan in the NCAA Tournament Final, 86-68.

Five seasons after their 1976 game, Alabama and North Carolina met again in an NCAA Tournament game.